Fighting Ebola, And The Conspiracy Theories

A New York Times editorial stated: “Misinformation about politics may often seem silly — the immigration bill will give out free cars! — but the consequences of false beliefs in public health can be deadly.

In the developed world, myths about the risks of vaccines have enabled the resurgence of communicable diseases like measles and pertussis. And in developing countries, false beliefs have hindered efforts to fight H.I.V./AIDS and eradicate polio in countries like Nigeria and Pakistan.

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Nearly Half Of Americans Are Afraid The U.S. Will Experience An Ebola Outbreak

The Huffington Post reported: “Ebola has never been transmitted in the United States (and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes that it “does not pose a significant risk to the U.S. public”). Yet, four in 10 adults in the U.S. are afraid that there will be a large outbreak in this country, according to a recent survey from the Harvard School of Public Health.

The survey, conducted along with independent research company SSRS, also showed that one in four U.S. adults is worried that a member of their immediate family will become sick with Ebola sometime in the next year.

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Few, If Any, Treatments Exist For Many Contagious Diseases

Newsday reported: “An experimental medication with no discernible track record was administered last week to two Americans who were whisked home from the epicenter of the West African Ebola outbreak.”

“The drug, developed through a technologically advanced technique, was identified only in January as a potential treatment for the viral infection now sweeping through four African nations.”

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20 Things To Know About The Ebola Outbreak

Becker Hospital Review reported “What hospitals need to know about the current Ebola outbreak.”

Guidelines for hospitals

“According to the CDC guidelines, healthcare providers should evaluate patients for EVD if they have the following risk factors:

  • Clinical criteria of a fever greater than 101.5 degrees Fahrenheit, severe headache, muscle pain, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, hemorrhage
  • Epidemiologic risk factors like contact with an infected person, travel to an area where EVD is active or direct contact with bats, rodents or primates in an area where Ebola is endemic.”

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APHA Releases Ebola Resource During Global Outbreak

Since the first report of Ebola in March, the World Health Organization has confirmed 1,603 cases and 887 deaths resulting from the virus in Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria. In light of the ongoing outbreak, called the “largest in history” by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the APHA Bookstore has made the Ebola-Marburg virus chapter of its forthcoming Control of Communicable Diseases Manual (CCDM), 20th Edition, available online as a free download to aid public health workers responding to the disease.

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