Now that the first case of the Ebola virus has been diagnosed in the United States, how can you protect yourself from the deadly disease? According to some on social media, just go to 4chan and post the comment, I love you, Ebola-Chan! Yes, Ebola-Chan. An anime character who looks like Sailor Moon in a nurse′s uniform, with pink hair that has extensions that are shaped like the Ebola virus. Ebola-Chan appeared on 4chan in mid-August and since then has taken on a life of her own. Is she a goddess of death and pestilence? The focus of a new death cult? Part of an international conspiracy? Or is Ebola-Chan just a sick form of humor? This may seem a trivial subject, except for one small detail. There may be some actual deaths in West Africa due to those who fear Western doctors and their satchels of drugs.
The Ebola outbreak of 2014 in West Africa has resulted in thousands of deaths so far with potentially a half million people who may become infected before the year is out. For those of us who live elsewhere, it was bad enough when medical and aid workers became infected and returned to their native nations for treatment. Despite precautions, and another ′promise′ by Barack Obama, the possibility of the disease spreading does exist. At least 19 such people have returned to the US and Europe after being infected so far. Obama has sent 3,000 US Army personnel to West Africa. Who knows how many of them may contract the contagion?
Then yesterday, the CDC, Center for Disease Control in Atlanta, confirmed that a foreign patient has been diagnosed with the Ebola virus in Dallas, Texas. The patient was a man who came to Dallas on September 20 after leaving Liberia on the 19th. On the 24th, he apparently became ill and went to a hospital emergency room on the 26th. There, he was given some medicine and sent home. On September 28, he returned to the hospital and was placed in isolation where he has been since. Doctors and the CDC will monitor him for at least 21 days. The CDC is now in the process of determining whom he may have had contact with.
So, the odds are that there will be more cases of the Ebola virus in the United States. The CDC believes they have things under control, but who can say? For the most part, if you are healthy and practice good hygiene, you′ll probably be okay. But if the patient′s family members have jobs or includes school-aged children, then the chain reaction of the Ebola virus contagion may already spread considerably.
What about Ebola-Chan? Can posting the magic words on 4chan, ″I love you, Ebola-Chan″, really work to protect you? Of course not! But the bigger issue of how this all plays in West Africa is a problem. Angry, frightened people are already murdering doctors and aid workers because they think that the Ebola virus is part of a deliberate conspiracy to depopulate Africa. Many families have used force to remove their loved ones from hospitals. Now, I love a good conspiracy theory. I know folks who think that Barack Obama had Joan Rivers murdered for outing he and Michelle from the down-low closet. But nobody is going to start a riot or murder people because of it. However, we are seeing signs of just that when it comes to the Ebola virus in West Africa. Will the anime character Ebola-Chan only serve to make matters worse?