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Ebola fears sweep the nation

It is a crazy world out there, you have war in the middle east with radical Islamist groups like ISIS trying to take control of countries, sympathetic jihadists performing random attacks all over the globe, and economies trying to recover from a devastating recession. If all that is not enough, we now have to worry about the Ebola virus.

Ebola leads back to 1976 and is known to have originated somewhere in West Africa. While no one is 100% sure how the virus has spread to humans, it is believed that the virus originated in primates and primate-like megabats (Pteropus), or fruit bats. Since 1976 there have been several different outbreaks with the 2014 outbreak being the latest, and topic of discussion across the nation at the moment.

The virus is spread by contact with bodily fluids or blood, contact with infected surfaces or items that contained those fluids, or direct contact with an infected animal or human. Symptoms are known to start showing up about a week after contact and include vomiting, fever, headaches and muscle pain. These conditions can lead to low blood pressure, organ failure, and death as a result or combination of the conditions of the virus.

After initial attempts at containing the virus to the countries where the latest strain failed, now fear of contracting the virus is spreading quicker than the virus itself. Medical staff who have traveled to the virus stricken countries of Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone have traveled to locations outside of Africa and tested positive for the virus. In mid October of 2014 there have been about 17 different cases reported outside of Africa. At first the cases outside of Africa were thought to be contained. Screenings at airports from African countries have been made available, and people who visit Africa and especially countries where outbreaks have occurred are being monitored. Despite these efforts a few cases have unexpectedly been reported where no one would expect with one of the latest cases being reported in the United States in New York.

That is all New Yorkers and Americans need to worry about amongst all the other happenings in the world today. However, if you think about it, with New York being overpopulated and crowded a virus like Ebola could easily spread. Many New Yorkers use public transportation and travel across the state on a daily basis that could be a medical nightmare if a few people contract the virus. There is no need to panic now, but just be aware of your surroundings, and not only in New York, but across the United States. Even across the globe because the last thing that we need to worry about now is an international outbreak in today's crazy world. What do you think?


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