Eradicating the five biggest misconceptions about Ebola

Communities+in+West+Africa+have+become+increasing%3By+concerned+about+keeping+the+Ebola+virus+from+spreading+and+as+a+result%2C+many+misconceptions+have+emerged.+Credit%3A+Austin+Hunt%2FThe+Foothill+Dragon+Press

Communities in West Africa have become increasing;y concerned about keeping the Ebola virus from spreading and as a result, many misconceptions have emerged. Credit: Austin Hunt/The Foothill Dragon Press

Jennifer Chang

Communities in West Africa have become increasing;y concerned about keeping the Ebola virus from spreading and as a result, many misconceptions have emerged. Credit: Austin Hunt/The Foothill Dragon Press
Communities in West Africa have become increasingly concerned about keeping the Ebola virus from spreading and as a result, many misconceptions have emerged. Photo Illustration Credit: Austin Hunt/The Foothill Dragon Press

“Ebola is spread through the air/from touching people”

Ebola, unlike many other epidemics, is not an airborne virus.  Because Ebola can only be spread through the body fluids or contaminated objects of an infected victim, the disease is classified only as “moderately contagious,” yet is also “extremely infectious.”  This is because just one single virus can result in a fatal outcome. 

 

Take an look Inside the Ebola Epicenter in West Africa: “Things are getting crazy down here.

 

 

“All Ebola patients die”

Though this epidemic does have a high fatality rate, the average death rate ranges from 25 percent to 90 percent depending on the location of the outbreak as well as the technology and medical care available in that area, according to NPR.

 

To read more about Ebola, check out Gabby Sones’ Opinion article about Ebola jokes.

 

“Health care workers are bringing Ebola to other countries”

Health care workers have been blamed for bringing the disease to other countries. However, research has shown that these claims are not true. According to the Center of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it is more likely that the disease was spread by direct contact with animals, such as infected primates or bats.

“Anyone that has come in contact with Ebola is contagious.”

Ebola has an incubation period of 2-21 days before victims showing symptoms.  However, patients who do not show symptoms are not infectious yet. Only when symptoms, such as fever, weakness, nausea, or bleeding, become apparent is the virus able to spread.

“All of Africa has been infected.”

According to the CDC, the three nations with widespread transmission are Sierra Leone, Guinea, and Liberia.  Besides these countries, Africa as a continent has not been widely affected.

People hold many misconceptions about Ebola, such as it supposedly spreading by air, having a 100 percent mortality rate and affecting the entire continent of Africa; all of which are not true. Credit: Jenny Chang/The Foothill Dragon Press
People hold many misconceptions about Ebola, such as it supposedly spreading by air, having a 100 percent mortality rate and affecting the entire continent of Africa; all of which are not true. Credit: Jenny Chang/The Foothill Dragon Press
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