Ebola Spreads to the U.S.


Rachel Prows

A student washes their hands to prevent spreading harmful bacteria.

Jesse Vigil, Reporter

Ebola is a virus which starting symptoms are fever, sore throat, muscle pain, and headaches. These symptoms can begin to occur as soon as three days or up to three weeks after contracting the virus. Symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, rash, and the decreased function of the liver and the kidneys.

The outbreak of this disease is believed to have begun in West Africa amongst the countries of Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Nigeria. The virus is suspected to have been transferred from a fruit bat, which can carry the disease without effect. Scientists believe that a fruit bat bit a human in the western region of Africa, and the disease spread from there.

Why is this significant? There have been a few patients that have developed symptoms of the virus inside the United States. The patients have been isolated and are currently being treated, but who knows how quickly the disease could be spread.

The media is making Ebola appear to spread much easier than it actually does. The virus is not airborne, but it can be spread through direct contact with bodily fluids from an infected person. Fluids like saliva, sweat, blood, etc. are some of the most common bodily fluids that one would come into contact with.

In our society today it seems we often come into contact with germs from the previously listed bodily fluids more than we may think. Public restrooms, work environment, and school buildings are some of the places to come into contact with bodily fluids of other people.

A nurse in Dallas recently contracted the disease while wearing a suit designed to prevent the spread of the disease, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) claims that protocol was breached when the prevention suit was being removed. This brings up another concern for the disease spreading easier than our government originally thought.

What makes Ebola unique from other diseases such as Influenza is the fact that it attacks the whole body rather than just one area, which in turn makes it harder to isolate and treat. The majority of viruses only attack one system, such as bronchitis attacks the respiratory system, but Ebola attacks the majority of the different systems within the human body.

Despite all of the headlines in the news Utah doesn’t really have to be concerned so far, but should the disease start spreading then more caution should be taken. The disease does not spread extremely easily, but if our country is not careful it could spread quickly.

Although Utah does not have to worry about the virus yet the time should still be taken to live more sanitarily. Nothing major, just simple practices such as washing your hands and avoiding direct contact with other people’s bodily fluids.