Crisis Analysis: Ebola in the United States

Belkys Fortune, Teressa Celia

With countless deaths in African countries and a number of reported cases in the United States, the Ebola virus has propped up its feet on our coffee tables and made itself at home.

The virus has claimed the life of Thomas Duncan, a Texas man, making him the first Ebola death in the U.S. since the outbreak began months ago. Subsequently, two Texas nurse’s that treated Duncan have undergone treatment for Ebola. (One has even been sent to the Center for Disease Control [CDC] headquarters in Atlanta.) Since these events, Texas Governor Rick Perry has held a press conference owning up to the mistakes that led to the spread of the virus, calling them “unacceptable”. Currently, a number of counties are being quarantined in Dallas, Texas and surrounding areas to combat further spread of the virus. In fact, I was recently on the phone with one of my close friends who lives in the Dallas area and she was telling me that people are walking around town with masks on. They are not taking the Ebola scare lightly.

From a Public Relations standpoint, the scariest part about the Ebola outbreak is not contracting the disease, because medical professionals have made it clear that it is curable and full recovery is possible (with adequate resources). Perhaps the most frightening part is being unclear and uneducated about how it is spread. Here’s the truth behind a few Ebola Myths to keep you in the loop:

  1. Myth: Ebola can be contracted. through the air.
    Truth: Ebola isn’t transmitted through the air. It is transmitted through direct contact by bodily fluids with an infected person – direct touching that involves bodily fluids such as blood, sweat, feces, vomit, semen or spit.
  2. Myth: Water kills the Ebola virus.
    Truth: Soap and water kills the Ebola virus. So does chlorine, alcohol and bleach, according to experts. One of the most important preventive measures is frequent hand-washing.
    Mayo Clinic
  3. Myth: Banning flight travel will stop the spread of the disease.
    Truth: Similar bans were used during the SARS and Swine Flu viruses. Experts say that NO ban will completely stop people moving about the world.

Source: CNN

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