by Nicholas Guest
Viral Vaccination is a weekly column written by me, Nick Guest, that tries to reveal other angles on viral news stories, social media urban legends, and misguided social media campaigns. I hope that you don’t believe vaccinations cause Autism, because I’m about to inject you with some knowledge.
With Ebola on the rise, 24 hour news networks and social media feeds will not let anyone go a moment without an update. Ebola has hit the news big due to the outbreaks in Africa, where it will claim many lives this year. However, we do have screening processes in place to protect the U.S. and they are working.
The total confirmed cases in the U.S. is only three. Should the CDC be worried? Yes. Should you? Probably not, unless you live in Texas where the only confirmed cases of Ebola have been found. Ebola is scary, but so is the Bubonic Plague. Do you remember the bubonic plague from history class? According to the CDC, it typically infects around 5 Americans per year. Malaria easily outranks Ebola on the worldwide killer list.
If you are still worried about Ebola, the CDC has a list of steps to take to protect yourself. According to the list, the best step in preventing infection is practicing careful hygiene. Wash your hands. Use soap or sanitizer. If you don’t feel protected enough by proper hygiene this list also includes information like not handling the medical equipment or needles of an infected person. Also, don’t touch the body of someone who died from Ebola. Don’t have close contact with non-human primates. Hopefully, everyone stateside is taking these precautions already. In fact, the only two cases outside the original carrier were nurses who had to handle the medical equipment and needles of an infected person.
Stepping away from disease, viruses, and infections; simple acts like DUI car accidents and accidental firearm discharges will most likely take more American lives this year than Ebola. If you want to safeguard yourself from danger take steps that make sense with your life. Change the batteries in your smoke detector. Don’t text and drive. Practice common sense.
This article is not to make light of the situation. Ebola does need attention. However, the attention needs to come from trained professionals, not from random tweets and Facebook posts calling the President to “Close down the borders to Africa.” This is mainly because the U.S. doesn’t border Africa, but also because if you want to stay healthy and live longer maybe you should just skip that deep-fried bacon sandwich and eat something healthier.