08 October 2014

Ebola... Next Steps


Have you noticed whenever you turn on the news or read it—Ebola seems to be everywhere? It is a little scary. Cases of Ebola have now been found in Dallas and D.C. Doctors and aid workers from across the world are helping fight the battle against this epidemic, but  how much do you really know about this virus? There are many misconceptions about Ebola, so lets clear some up now:

1.     Ebola is extremely infectious but not extremely contagious. It is infectious, because an exceedingly small amount can cause illness.
2.     Ebola is moderately contagious. The virus is not transmitted through the air. 

This week, President Obama declared that there will be additional screening measures to prevent the virus from ravaging the United States but will not be banning any air travel. The Coast Guard is also starting to put protocols in place for ships that have recently been in Ebola-affected areas. Ship passengers will be checked for symptoms of the virus before the ship docks. Is this enough or should the U.S. take a more drastic approach and ban all travel unless approved to these virus devastated countries?

As many know, up to 4,000 service members will be deployed to aid in the battle against Ebola in West Africa, but is this really something U.S. Military should be involved in? Operation United Assistance will focus on building treatment units in Liberia and aid in training local health workers to treat patients. Troops are not expected to have direct contact with Ebola patients, but they will still be trained on the proper methods that come with personal protection equipment.  With so many Americans being deployed to West Africa, will this only increase the chances of Ebola spreading through States?

Comment below or join the discussion here and connect within the military community.

Image Copyright: Tanya Bindra / AP

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