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Do Americans Have a Better Chance of Surviving Ebola?

Updated on October 9, 2014

Ebola spreads fast in West Africa

In the Ebola stricken countries of West Africa people that appear to have brief interactions with those suffering from Ebola have become infected as well. We know that it is not an illness that should be spread easily through casual contact. It is spread through bodily fluids that are not usually exposed during casual contact. However, people in West Africa that are becoming ill are not only those washing the dead or touching their infected body fluids. However, can we really see if someone had particles from throwing up on their clothing? Probably not and during the time when the person is experiencing symptoms of vomiting is when they are very contagious. The WHO confirmed that Ebola can be spread through sneezing. Not to scare anyone further, but just stating some facts. It is not as hard to get as they may have us believe.

Currently, there is one potential second case in Dallas

As we hope that test results for Ebola come back negative for Sgt. Michael Monnig, a potential 2nd Ebola case as a result of exposure to the living quarters of recently deceased, Thomas Eric Duncan, we cannot ignore that out of all of the others exposed to Duncan has not showed any signs or symptoms as of yet. Ebola's average incubation period is 8 to 10 days. The 29th is when Duncan was quarantined. Out of everyone quarantined or watched, which is about 80, there have been no new cases. This is a very good sign, but what does it mean?

Ebola Poll

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There are still no known Ebola cures

The two Americans that were treated for Ebola months ago that received the drug ZMapp have fully recovered and been released from the hospital. This experimental drug is no longer available as the supply has been completely exhausted. However, there is a doctor in Liberia that has used the HIV drug, lamivudine to successfully treat 13 out of 15 Ebola patients. These are amazing results considering the numbers in West Africa of patients without any treatment have been less then 50% survival rate. The NIH will be investigating the possibility of giving this drug a try at doses similar to the Liberian Doctor's.

What Are The Ways Ebola Can Be Spread

  • After death bodies still can spread Ebola (In West Africa traditionally women wash the deceased Ebola victims, subjecting them to infection.)
  • Blood of the infected can spread the virus.
  • Urine of the infected can spread the virus.
  • Mucus (as from sneezing) can spread the virus.
  • Vomit can spread the virus.
  • Semen can spread the virus.

What situations in West Africa adds fuel to the Ebola outbreak fire?

Here is an interesting fact that may really shed some light on the situation. In the United States there are 245 doctors to every 100 thousand patients in hospitals. In Nigeria, where there have been no recent Ebola cases for months, there are 41 doctors for every 100 thousand patients. In Guinea, which is still an active Ebola hot zone, there are 10 doctors for every 100 thousand patients. In Sierra Leone the second worse Ebola hot zone there are 2 doctors for every 100 thousand patients. Last, but not least, in Liberia, number one Ebola hot zone there is on 1 doctor for every 100 thousand patients. This alone does give some proof to Americans being a little better off, hopefully, when it comes to surviving Ebola.

Another dangerous situation that can cause West Africans to increase their risk factors for contracting Ebola is the consuming of bush meat, which include monkeys, and bats. These animals are known to carry disease and spread to humans.

Bush Meat

Liberian holding bush meat being sold for food.
Liberian holding bush meat being sold for food.
Bats are one of the main animals carrying and spreading Ebola to humans.  Here they are being sold for food.
Bats are one of the main animals carrying and spreading Ebola to humans. Here they are being sold for food.

U.S. will start doing their own fever screenings at airports

What Are Some Issues with Airport Fever Screenings?

Some believe that these screenings are not very effective since Ebola can take up to 21 days before symptoms, including fever emerges. Also, can popping a couple fever reducers like acetaminophen or ibuprofen prevent testing positive for the fever screenings? These are some potential issues that can make these processes less effective.

U.S. Airport Ebola Fever Screenings

Do you think these airport fever screenings will prove to be effective?

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