Living With Ebola

No joke, I got off my train at Penn Station the other day and there was a woman standing right outside the doors who straight up coughed in my face…and then I got Ebola.

            I’m totally kidding I didn’t get Ebola, but I had just listened to a podcast about it on my ride in. If you’ve never listened to a podcast before you should really check out How Stuff Works, “Stuff You Should Know,” because it’s full of fun facts and interesting information. The podcasts are available for free in the ITunes store app and the Google Play store. Recently I listened to the episode “How Ebola Works” and I learned a lot about its origin and how the virus works itself. Did you know there are 5 different strands of Ebola? The two most deadly strands are Zaire and Sudan, two other strands are the Ivory Coast and Bundibugyo, which are less deadly and also originated in Africa. However, did you know one strand of Ebola originated right here in the United States? The fifth strand of Ebola is Reston Ebola, and is named after its origin in Reston, Virginia—that’s only fifteen minutes from my house! Fortunately, this strand is the least deadly and never affected humans.

If you aren’t already aware, Ebola is transmitted through breaks in the skin, blood, mucus, or other bodily fluids. In other words, Ebola is just like any other virus. I had a long conversation with my Aunt this past weekend about the issue and we agreed, everyone needs to take a chill pill—especially the media. So far 10, 000 people have died in Africa from Ebola. In the United States, four people have been infected and only one of them has died. In fact, it is more likely for you to catch the flu and die then it is Ebola. In 2012-13 171 Americans died from the flu, and yet people still don’t get the flu shot! Ebola is only scary because we do not have a cure yet, but it really isn’t as terrible as the media is making it out to be. My Aunt and I came up with some simple steps that everyone should follow in order to protect him or herself from colds or viruses like ebola:

  • Wash your hands. Use soap and say the ABC’s twice through
  • When you cough or sneeze use your elbow!
  • Use hand sanitizer
  • Wash your hands before you eat
  • When you’re eating, don’t like your finger just because you don’t have a napkin
  • Don’t share food or drinks
  • Cover your mouth when you yawn
  • Don’t share needles
  • Don’t have any one night stands
  • Do not kiss anyone you don’t know
  • If you are traveling anywhere that’s currently affected by an outbreak/epidemic, quarantine yourself until you know you are not infected with the virus/disease

If you are still really freaking out about Ebola, then check out NBC’s article Why the Flu Is Deadlier Than Ebola:

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