HEALTH & FITNESS
Myths and wild rumors about the Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa are causing unwarranted panic throughout the United States and the world. This worrisome health issue has been covered extensively on popular daytime TV programs like The Doctors and Good Morning, America. Here’s the actual truth about some common Ebola myths:
The Ebola virus is airborne or spreads through casual contact.
Truth: The Ebola virus spreads only when an infected person’s bodily fluids come into direct contact with the mucous membranes of a person who is not infected. That means the Ebola virus found in fluids like sweat, blood or urine must come in contact with your eyes, mouth, nostrils, or an open wound to infect you.
Immigrants from Latin America could bring Ebola into the United States.
Truth: Not a single person has ever contracted the Ebola virus disease in the Western Hemisphere.
Bringing Ebola patients into the United States puts American citizens at risk for catching the virus.
Truth: The fast spread of Ebola is possible not because it’s a particularly potent strain of virus, but because of West Africa’s severe healthcare shortcomings. The countries where Ebola has spread do not have sufficient resources to combat the virus.
Even if you survive Ebola, it’s possible for you to pass the virus on to others.
Truth: In almost all cases, only people who have Ebola symptoms (headache, vomiting, fever, diarrhea) can pass it to others.
This is the first serious outbreak of Ebola.
Truth: This is history’s largest outbreak of Ebola, but certainly not the first. Various strains of the disease have previously appeared on the African continent, infecting 425 people in 2000 and 57 people in 2012.
Ebola can be treated with antibiotics.
Truth: Antibiotics work on bacterial infections – not on viral infections. There is no cure for the Ebola virus.
Ebola liquifies your organs.
Truth: Ebola does not liquify organs. When people succumb from Ebola, it’s because it causes multi-organ failure and shock.