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Dutchess_III's avatar

Is there anyone here who can help me figure out this Ebola panic?

Asked by Dutchess_III (42474points) October 9th, 2014

From what I’ve seen you get it the same way you get AIDs. However, I think that due to the fact that you get sick very quickly with Ebola it can be caught much quicker, and contained, than someone who has the HIV virus and displays no symptoms. The HIV virus can linger for years before it makes itself known.

I think the chances of a person catching the Ebola virus are a lot less than the chances of catching the HIV virus.
That is the opinion I’ve formed from what I’ve read.

If I’m completely wrong, I’d like to know.

I’d also like more information so I can separate the hysteria from the facts.

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25 Answers

syz's avatar

If you turn on the tv, you will get no facts. Here is the CDC’s (Centers for Disease Control and Infection) fact sheet on Ebola.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

It’s nothing like getting Aids. Skin contact with infected materials can transmit it. It can survive outside the body for hours. It’s highly contagious and we probably need to start being a bit concerned. Thats how I thought it was at first getting hep c. Wrong! You can’t get Aids or Hep c Through simple skin contact. Apparently you can with ebola.

JLeslie's avatar

The panic is because the media keeps talking about it. Similar to the panic about H1N1 flu, except the flu is highly contagious, it just wasn’t the disaster so many people feared it would be. The media made the panic much worse.

Ebola is contagious when the person is sick, while the flu, colds, HIV and many other illnesses are contagious before symptoms are present. No one needs to be afraid of seemingly healthy people spreading Ebola.

Of course we are now entering bold and flu season so there will be sick people everywhere. I was just at the pharmacy picking up my thyroid meds and there was a woman hacking away who looked like death on toast.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Thanks @syz. I did look through the CDC website, but your link was much more helpful.

I found a similar link for HIV, but for whatever reason it isn’t saying how it’s transmitted, like can it be transmitted if infected fluids come in contact with a break in your skin?

You can’t get Ebola through skin contact either, @ARE_you_kidding_me, unless you have a break in the skin and it comes into contact with infected fluids.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

Yes you can, it says right on the cdc website that contact through mucous membranes can transmit it. So “skin” was not exactly the correct word to use. For all intents and purposes we should treat it that way. It still puts it waaay closer to the flu than Aids. You can’t get Aids by rubbing your nose or eyes.

jca's avatar

@ARE_you_kidding_me: Do you have mucous membranes on your arms?

Dutchess_III's avatar

I guess by “skin” she was referring to mucous membranes.

HIV actually can be spread by rubbing your eyes (mucous membrane) but it’s really rare, probably because the virus doesn’t live “survive very long” outside of the body. I wish I could find something more precise than “Survive very long.”

Dutchess_III's avatar

Well, then there is this. Scroll about ¼th way down. It says people with AIDs and people with Ebola, on average, will infect 2 others. Compare that to the measles!

osoraro's avatar

Ebola is much more contagious than AIDS. Vanity Fair had a really good article that you should read. Google “Vanity Fair Ebola” and it will come up.

Dutchess_III's avatar

This was on…60 Minutes or something. I saw it recently.

Still reading.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Holy shit….

Dutchess_III's avatar

It can be transmitted only when the host is symptomatic, at which point the host will likely die so quickly that the virus doesn’t have much of a chance to lodge someplace new. But its chances of survival improve markedly if it strikes in a part of the world—like Guinea—where funerals tend to be intimate affairs; where the family lays its hands on the deceased, and sweat, tears, and other fluids have the chance to mix. Then, killing the host becomes not a dead end for the virus but an opportunity to travel further.”

Dutchess_III's avatar

They perform stiffly and slowly, and then they disappear into the tent where your mother or brother may be, and everything that happens inside is left to your imagination. Villagers began to whisper to one another, “They’re harvesting our organs; they’re taking our limbs.” Sounds familiar.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Wow. Helluva a read, @osoraro.

KNOWITALL's avatar

You chances of dying in a car wreck are much higher, are we scared to drive? It’s craziness.

rojo's avatar

Here are the top 10 causes of death in the US (2009 stats) #1 – Heart disease at almost 600,000 people per year. Flu comes in at #8 killing almost 54,000 people that year.

The problem is not the disease but the incessant droning on of the media. Not that you should not stay informed, just that they report too few facts and too much wild speculation.

gorillapaws's avatar

I think it’s important to take it seriously. I’m not fearful of catching Ebola right now, but I’m terrified that we could see an outbreak in the US. It’s pretty damn contagious and could wipe out millions of people if we can’t get it contained.

jca's avatar

Since it’s not airborne, I’m not terribly worried about it.

keobooks's avatar

I’m not too worried about it, but I remember when it came out the first time back in the 90s. It made you bleed out of every orifice of your body and turned your guts into mush before you died an agonizing death. It’s pretty nasty and morbid curiosity makes me interested. It sounds like it’s not as bad this time, though—it’s still nasty—just not AS nasty. It’s not surprising as viruses need to “calm down” a bit so they can be more likely to spread. Ebola didn’t spread too well before because it killed people before they could infect others.

osoraro's avatar

@keobrooks. No. It’s that nasty.

Dutchess_III's avatar

As far as I can tell there hasn’t been another case in the U.S.

jca's avatar

@keobooks: Are you sure you’re not thinking of smallpox? Smallpox makes you bleed out of all of your orifices. I don’t think Ebola does.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

@jca Yes it does, it’s hemorrhagic.

rojo's avatar

Thought I would pass this Ebola Parody on for the enjoyment of all

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