Saturday, April 5, 2014

Why Ebola Shouldn't scare you ... too badly

It cracks me up when someone sends me an email, posts on my wall, asking if I heard the news of an outbreak. Me, really? I don’t open up to the morning news, I open up to disaster and biohazard news. I’m watching diligently. If I see something I’ll let you know if you should worry. The latest Ebola outbreak … nah.

Ebola is deadly. Yeah, that’s a fact. It starts out like a really bad head and chest cold, you get fever, chills and then suddenly with all that mucus, you’re now getting hit with the stomach bug. Only, your organs pretty much melt and ooze out your body orifices. Ebola has a kill rate of 90%+.  Yeah, it’s deadly. You’re a goner in under a week. In undeveloped and rural area Ebola can spread like wildfire. In industrial areas they stand a chance to contain it. The most recent case, while it hasn’t surpassed its historical worst, has actually breeched more boundaries. It’s now suspected in Malawi, and now one suspected case in Paris. Which, ok, I’m blaming Paris officials. Knowing damn well, that the incubation period can surpass three weeks (Meaning a person is contagious without symptoms) Why did they only quarantine that plane for twenty-four hours? Seems to me they could have sprinkled a little death around. How many of those people on that plane moved on to other countries?

Ok, even if it hits industrial areas, with quarantine measures above and beyond those in rural villages, the chances of nipping it in the butt are good. It’s not airborne, not yet. Meaning you have to come in contact with the bodily fluids of an infected person. If it starts to rise, it’s as easy as stay indoors, stay safe.

But Ebola doesn’t scare me. Every few years it does this. On average about 7 people die each year of it, outbreaks average from 75-500. To date Ebola has killed 3,000 total. That is all. Your chances of catching Ebola are slim. 

Odds of catching Ebola 1 in 94.6 million.

So deadly as it may be, swipe that fear away, there are other things more scary for you to worry about and you have a better chance of experiencing it. These should ease your mind about Ebola.

The Plague – there are so many variation of this pesky world killer, you gotta love it. While plague, if caught early can be treated, it still has a good 35% fatality rate and is still alive an kicking. Did you know 12 million people died of the plague in China in 1855?  That’s cary considering it wiped out 12 million not that long ago. 75% of the middle age population. Still plague is most prevalent every year between March and June and carried by the Y Pestis and those hideous rodents called rats. Every year the CDC estimates 2000 deaths of plague are reported a year. Without calling it an outbreak.
35 deaths in the US alone.
 Odds of getting and dying from the plague  1 in 3 million

Yellowstone Supervolcano – While some say this won’t happen, increased seismic activity around the park, coupled with fleeing animals … I don’t know. I think we have more chance of it blowing its top than Ebola wiping us out. 
Odds of it Erupting – 1 in 647,000

The Flu – World Health Organization says 10-15% of the population contracts the flu every year. Every
year on average 20,000 people die of the Flu. While that’s less than 1% fatality rate (Unless of course it’s like superflu or Swine) your chances of getting better are great. However you still stand more of a chance of catching a deadly case of the flu than Ebola.
Odd of catching the Flu – 1 in 67
Odds of catching a deadly Flu - 1 in 22,000

Tuberculosis – Although it is treatable and not always deadly it is still deadly. We always seem to forget about this one,. Easily transmitted. People with ‘active’ TB, can sign, cough, sneeze and spread it. It’s that easy. The scariest part is a person  not being treated regularly for TB or who doesn’t know they have it will infect 10 people a year.

It is estimated by CDC and WHO that there are 8.45 million new cases every year and 1.5 deaths. That’s a biggie that people forget about good old TB.

Odds of catching TB – 1 in 840
Odds of dying after getting TB – 1 in 6

Now, see? Ebola doesn’t see that bad, after all, does it.


  1. Is the Paris case confirmed? Not seeing much on anything other than that 2-hour (TWO-HOUR!) quarantine...

    1. Not officially confirmed yet. The plane was quarantined yesterday and today my go to site reported a incident in Paris.
      While they are not a gov or official site they tend to get info out there before it's public so I am watching. They reported Liberia before the world knew.