I just want to start of by saying that more people die each year from the influenza virus.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention it kills 3,000 in a good year and 50,000 in a bad year. And to make matters worse, only 46% of Americans vaccinate themselves each year making this well-known disease far more scary and threatening than Ebola.
Yes, Ebola is an extreme life threatening virus that should not be taken lightly but unless you have recently traveled to or from West Africa, been in contact with someone who has or been in a treatment facility the chances of you contracting the disease are slim to none.
Also, in order to contract the disease you have to have been in contact with the bodily fluids of an infected person that IS showing symptoms - people who test positive for Ebola but are not yet showing symptoms are NOT contagious.
Once a person has been exposed to the virus it typically takes eight days to show symptoms and that is why quarantine is so important to prevent the spreading.
Where did the virus come from?
When it first developed in 1976 it created 602 cases and killed 431 people in Sudan and Republic of Congo since then this year has been the worse with 6,553 cases and 3,083 deaths in the Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leon regions of Africa. That does not include the few deaths around the world.
Scientists believe that bats are the natural reservoir for the virus and that apes and humans catch the disease from eating food that bats have drooled or defecated on, or by coming in contact with surface covered in infected bat droppings and then touching their eyes or mouths.
Researchers have tracked down the original outbreak to a village dear Gueckedou, Guinea where bat hunting in common.
What is the U.S. doing to help prevent the spreading of Ebola?
Instead of creating a travel ban from the U.S. to West Africa we are implementing a rigorous screening process to identify people who may have been in contact with a contagious person. New protocols have starting at five of the major airports that have flights traveling to and from West Africa. They are, Kennedy International, Washington Dulles International, O'Hare International, Hartsfield-Jackson International and Newark Liberty International.
Signs and symptoms.
Fever, severe headache, muscle pain, weakness, diarrhea, vomiting, stomach pain and unexplained bleeding or bruising.
How to protect yourself when traveling.
You as a traveler just need to stay well informed and educated to protect yourself throughout your travels. Also, practicing good hygiene is always the first step in staying healthy - just because you are traveling does not mean you should slack on your hygiene. Just the opposite really - keep those hands clean! Realistically, unless you are traveling to the infected regions your chances of contracting the virus are virtually slim to none. TRAVELING IS SAFE. It is always a good idea when traveling abroad to check for travel alerts too.
The reason I covered this topic is because I want everyone to know that traveling is still safe and the best way to protect yourself is to be well informed, practice good hygiene and avoid infected areas.
Happy and safe travels to you all!