Ebola Terror Reaches America

Posted on October 30, 2014 by

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Copyright 2011 by Cynthia Goldsmith

Copyright 2011 by Cynthia Goldsmith

Ebola has been the talk of the town for a little while now. Also known as Ebola Hemorrhagic fever, it is a rare and deadly disease caused by infection with one of the Ebola virus strains. There are five identified Ebola virus species, four of which cause disease in humans, monkeys, gorillas, and chimpanzees.

“I think it’s a major concern in Africa.  In America, we have better health systems. I think it’ll be better contained than in Africa. We have better health practices, where they have not too much protectiveness,” nurse Bonnie Fansler said.

It was first discovered in 1976 near the Ebola River, in what is now the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The symptoms of Ebola include:
• Fever great than 101.5.
• Severe Headache.
• Muscle Pain.
• Weakness.
• Diarrhea.
• Vomiting.
• Abdominal pain.
• Unexplained bleeding.

“It is disgusting, and I hope I don’t get that,” senior Levi Gieringer said.

These symptoms may appear anywhere from 2-21 days after exposure to the virus. The average is 8-10 days. It is deadly, but if it gets treated, the patient develops antibodies that last for at least ten years.

But acquiring the disease is not easy. It is contracted through bodily fluids. This means coming in contact with blood, stool, or vomit. Since it is not airborne, in theory, one cannot get it from coughing, sneezing, etc. People may be able to get it if someone kept repeatedly doing that directly on another person over and over again, but chances of that are very unlikely.

“It’s pretty sad, I guess.  I just hope I don’t get it,” freshman Justin Bartosch said.

At this point in time, there is no cure for Ebola. If you are diagnosed with it, doctors utilize fluids, oxygen, blood pressure medicine, transfusions, and treatment for other infections. This usually does not work most of the time though.

There have been some reported cases in the U.S. Last week, a man named Thomas Eric Duncan from Liberia came to the United States infected with the disease. Duncan took Flight 951 from Brussels to Washington Dulles, then Flight 822 to Dallas/Fort Worth. He was then transmitted to the hospital and died last Wednesday from the disease.

“Ebola is a serious disease that, if not checked, will grow into a serious pandemic. Travel restrictions must be enforced with areas established for patients infected with the disease prior to leaving. People who knowingly leave an area carrying the disease should be subject to legal action,” history teacher Mr. Todd Weiss said.

“It is terrifying. I think the government is keeping secrets from us,” junior Kayla Musitano said.

Posted in: Alyssa Brandt