Dr. Kent Brantley arrived in the United States from West Africa and is now at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta. He is the first Ebola patient in the US with another, missionary Nancy Writebol, expected shortly from Liberia. A third foreign doctor recently died in Sierra Leone from Ebola, which has claimed well over 700 deaths in several Western African nations. Ebola is a highly contagious disease, causing fever of such a magnitude that it literally consumes a person from the inside out. Severe dehydration follows the consumption, which releases blood and other bodily fluids, making those infected dangerous carriers of the disease. While the CDC claims that Dr. Brantley, the first case of Ebola on U.S. soil, is sufficiently isolated as to not contaminate anyone, many are concerned. Especially after recent reports of samples of anthrax and bird flu being lost and mishandled at the CDC. Is America now in danger of a pandemic?
The truth is that we are always in danger of a potential breakout of a pandemic. Especially in this era of widespread and inexpensive global air travel. American tourists get sick all the time when they travel abroad. A whole lot get sick just when taking cruise ships. A passenger jetliner is not exactly the most sanitary place to be locked inside of either. Even if you had stayed at a gated, exclusive, 5-star resort while on vacation, there is always a risk of becoming infected with some disease.
Ebola has a death rate of about 80%. Much of this is due to a lack of medical care in countries susceptible to it. While there is no vaccine for Ebola, there are some experimental drugs which may help combat it, but the key treatment for now is to hydrate the patient. Stick an IV in the patient and pump him or her with plenty of fluids and just keep it up until the disease burns itself out.
So are you concerned about Ebola in the US for the first time? Donald Trump caused a stir on Twitter when he said he would refuse to allow Kent Brantley and Nancy Writebol into the United States. Doctors at the CDC and at Atlanta′s Emory Univesrity Hospital say that enough safeguards have been taken to prevent Ebola from spreading in the U.S.. The current outbreak of Ebola in West Africa, Sierra Leone, Ghana and Liberia has claimed about 729 victims. Some experts say the actual death toll may be over 2,000 as many deaths had little or no medical history associated with them.