Why Ebola hysteria might be healthy

The hysteria of Ebola may have a great unintended consequence for public health. Since Ebola prevention has recently become important to news organizations and people alike, it has forced the public to take extra precautions in hygiene although we should know by now that the disease itself is not a huge threat to the everyday American.

According to the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention), there is “no FDA-approved vaccine or medicine (e.g., antiviral drug) available for Ebola.” On the other hand, this is not the time to panic. The “hysteria” over the Ebola virus outbreaks in America is due to misinformation and exaggeration by news organizations. The most stressed detail said by news organizations is that this is the first time the virus has come to America. All they have to say to stop this hysteria is “no, this virus will not be reaching you personally.” On the CDC website they state that, “During outbreaks of Ebola, those at highest risk include health care workers and family and friends in close contact with Ebola patients because they may come in contact with the blood or body fluids of sick patients.” A play on this by some creative people on the Internet is the quote, “more Americans have been married to Kim Kardashian than have died from Ebola,” which should lessen the frightening thought of the everyday American becoming infected.

Another important thing to note is that the virus is not airborne. When the news organizations cover the events about Ebola, they specifically like to use the term “quarantine,” causing scare of the disease being airborne. Fortunately this is not the case. The need for quarantining the patient comes from the fact that it is easily contracted through body fluids, but not because of the possibility of becoming airborne. The important thing to understand is that the “hysteria” over Ebola has been caused by news organizations pushing “prevention tips” and such things that would cause a “mass panic.”

The “prevention tips” and facts about Ebola are helpful to the public to be aware of since it is something happening in the United States, but should not be used to scare the public. The virus is not airborne, nor will it affect the everyday American. People who follow these “prevention tips” however, gain insight on how to prevent other viruses as well, such as the flu or the common cold. With this knowledge put forth to the public by news organizations, the everyday American can learn more about preventing other viruses under the cover of thinking they are learning how to prevent Ebola.