What is Ebola? Should You Be Scared?

Courtesy of Google Images

Courtesy of Google Images

The Ebola outbreak has been all over the news recently. Everyone has been talking about recent Ebola scares and what it could mean for the health of the general population. However, Ebola is still very misunderstood and many people do not know exactly what the disease is or how it is spread.

Ebola is an acute viral disease, and was discovered in 1976. It was named after the Ebola River in Zaire. This disease has been an issue in West Africa for a while, but it has recently become a lot more serious in light of the recent outbreak sweeping West African countries, and even spreading to the U.S.

Symptoms of Ebola are fatigue, fever, headaches, loss of appetite, etc. It is also common for people with the disease to suffer from vomiting, joint pain, and muscle pain. It usually takes about 8 – 10 days after contracting the virus before you begin to experience symptoms, but for some people it can take as long as 21 days. The Ebola virus is transmitted through direct contact with blood or bodily fluids from an infected person or by contaminated objects such as needles and syringes.

It is believed that the recent Ebola outbreak began around December 2013, when a 2-year-old boy living in Guinea passed away due to Ebola. The virus spread to his family, to the rest of his village, throughout the country of Guinea, and eventually throughout West Africa. This tragic outbreak has led to the death of almost 4,000 people according to conservative estimates. There has been a total of a little over 8,000 known cases of Ebola.

In the past month or so, there has been a great deal of concern the disease may spread to the U.S. and that the people in this country will be affected by the epidemic. The main reason Ebola is spread to countries outside of West Africa, especially the U.S., is because doctors who have gone over to treat patients with Ebola end up contracting the disease and then traveling home.

The first known case of Ebola in the U.S. was when Dr. Richard Sacra came home from his work as a missionary doctor in Liberia, delivering babies and treating pregnant women who had contracted the illness. He came home and was quarantined and successfully treated. He is now recovering from Ebola and probably will continue to stay in recovery for about six months.

Unfortunately, Thomas Duncan, who travelled from Liberia to Texas, passed away early Wednesday morning. He was diagnosed about a month ago and sadly it was too late for him to be cured.  All of the people who had contact with Duncan are now in the hospital being treated. There are also 8 known cases of Ebola in Europe.

Although it can be scary to think about a disease like Ebola and what could possibly happen, it really is unlikely that Ebola will become an epidemic in the U.S. All of the people with Ebola here are quarantined and in the hospital being treated. For now, it is most important that we pray for the people in West Africa who are being severely affected by the Ebola virus. While it is still too early to tell just what will happen with this outbreak, panic and worry will not help. We know that for now the rest of the world outside of West Africa is not experiencing the devastation caused by this virus, so we have a responsibility to lift them up in prayer.

What do you think about the recent Ebola outbreak? Voice your opinion in a comment below.

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Posted on October 7, 2014, in News, Top Stories and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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