Ebola: Image Versus Reality

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The potential of an outbreak of Ebola versus the current reality could not be further apart, but in a nod to the power of the media, President Obama canceled critical fundraising opportunities to go back to Washington to deal with the “crisis.”

People need to take a step back from sending swat teams and rapid response groups, and disinfecting where it is not necessary or medically mandated

Ebola is not transmitted like the flu; you must come into contact with the bodily fluids of infected people when they are symptomatic. That is what all the scientists tell us.

And the possibility of transmission through the air would only be possible if the virus somehow mutated, and then we would indeed have something to worry about. I have recently seen reassurances stating that mutation into an airborne disease is highly unlikely.

What is the reality then? One individual flew into this country from the infected region of Africa and somehow gave the disease to two health workers in Texas who treated him in close proximity. Two additional cases does not an outbreak make.

But for the press, this situation has somehow transcended all our other problems and is now leading the cable and network news. People are panicking already or on the verge of it. Even the sedate New York Times gave the story of the second infection banner headlines in its paper this morning.

Two cases! In one city! People need to take a step back from sending swat teams and rapid response groups, and disinfecting where it is not necessary or medically mandated. The disease has shown a very limited spread just as the doctors predicted.