Survival Guide: Ebola


Cortney Chow, Staff Writer

When looking inside a purse or bag of a person in today’s society, most will be overflowing with miniature sanitizer bottle no bigger than a human hand. Then, glance at the skin and lines mapped onto the two hands of an individual. Chances are, the skin will be raw from over washing, making dirt seem non-existent. The motive for extreme cleansing is not for hygiene purposes, but for a virus that looks like a spaghetti noodle when magnified by 90%.

There have been thousands of deaths reported and even more reports of infection. The eyes of the public are full with panic and paranoia of becoming a victim of Ebola that becomes hostile once infected. By restricting contact with items that have millions of germs, washing and sanitation has become a placebo treatment for Ebola in the U.S. “When I heard about Ebola, I washed my hands as much as I could,” replies Harley Denton (10). The country is constantly fueled by fear of Ebola, especially from the media. With daily updates on patients that have been infected, there are rarely any stories about how Ebola is being contained. These thousands of stories make Ebola evolve into a wildfire, burning of rumors and stories about this rare virus that triggers hysteria. On the other hand, some remain calm, “It’s not a death sentence, especially in America. Don’t overreact,” states Wyatt Cunningham (10). What certain people have confused is where the disease is spreading and how it is spreading.

When I heard about Ebola, I washed my hands as much as I could

— Harley Denton (10)

Ebola is mainly spreading through West Africa, affecting nations Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Mali, Spain, and United States. Survival rate on average is 50% but ranges from 25%-90%, depending on wealth, technological advances, sanitation, and etc. “Wealth factors into everything to help find a cure, without it, we would be screwed without the technology we need,” said Chad Fisher (10).

The first cases of Ebola in 1976 were dense in the area by the Ebola River, which influenced the name of the disease. Scientists state that rehydration when first contracted with the disease increases survival rate but symptoms of Ebola do not appear until 2-21 days, depending on how the body reacts to the virus, average days are 8-10 days.

Ebola is difficult to contract, but is spread by: bodily fluids, blood, saliva, mucus, sweat, tears, semen, vomit, urine, and feces. It can only infect the person from direct contact with cuts and abrasions on skin, eyes, nose, mouth, throat, reproductive organs, and contaminated meat by animals. The body shows symptoms are similar to a cold but become severe, causing bloody diarrhea, external and internal bleeding, purple spots, and blistering underneath skin. Luckily, the person is not contagious until he or she starts to show symptoms.

All in all, the rumors of Ebola have diminished, but for some people, over cleanliness will be their relief for the horrendous virus. Many nations are hoping that the vaccine for Ebola will be effective, but as for now, not traveling to places infected by the virus and wearing the appropriate attire to prevent illness will be one’s best bet for survival.


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If I Was Infected…

“If I was infected, I would clean myself inside out with alcohol.” -Ezer Gill (10)

“If I was infected, I would wear a gas mask.” – Jason Rutterbush (10)

“If I was infected, I would NOT want to die.” – Lucas Corey (10)

“If I was infected, school would shut down and I would be happy” – Chad Fisher (10)

“If I was infected, I would find the fastest way out of it, I don’t know, there’s not much to do.” -Meredith Ablao (9)

“If I was infected, I would probably make sure I was quarantined so I would not infect anyone else. Also, have my friends bring me my KAMSC and IB homework daily.” -Colby Kane (12)