As the list of fatalities related to the Ebola virus grows, so grows with it a sense of paranoia that it’s just a matter of time before the virus crosses the ocean and affects Americans en masse.
And yet this hasn’t happened, not since the disease was first identified in the mid 1970s.
Recently Americans have felt an increased sense of their mortality courtesy of speculation surrounding two individuals who are to be treated for Ebola in Atlanta, Ga.
If that weren’t enough, there was an unrelated Ebola scare in New York City early Monday morning.
As reported by the Washington Post, a man arrived in the Mount Sinai Hospital’s emergency room complaining of a high fever and gastrointestinal problems.
— WSB-TV (@wsbtv) August 4, 2014
When the hospital learned that he had recently visited a part of West Africa where the Ebola virus was spreading, he was immediately “placed in strict isolation”.
Following the quarantine, the male patient was tested for the Ebola virus.
According to Ian Michaels, New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation spokesman, all hospitals in the area are on high alert.
— CBC News (@CBCNews) August 4, 2014
Despite the concern, it seems as if the worst is over. The worst, of course, being the terror associated with the possibility that this was the first of many cases of Ebola in the United States.
The city’s health department determined, after discussing the case with hospital physicians and the Center of Disease Control, that the test results will likely show the man does not have the Ebola virus.
Ebola is a viral disease that is spread through contact with an infected person’s blood or other secreted fluids. It’s also possible for Ebola to spread through objects such as contaminated needles.
— KRON 4 News (@kron4news) August 4, 2014
If infected, it can take as long as three weeks for symptoms to manifest, at which time a person is highly contagious.
Due to the declaration of a Level 3 alert by the CDC, all non-essential travel to countries battling an ongoing outbreak (Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia) is highly discouraged.
Image via Wikimedia Commons