Stop jokes, needless panic over serious disease

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Stop jokes, needless panic over serious disease
By Alejandra Flores
Aztec Gold Online

Walking through the halls of El Dorado High School is very interesting. I always hear laughter and the latest gossip and scandals about the seniors, but something recently has been sweeping through the halls like a disease ¬¬¬— and that’s because it is.

Ebola and talk of it seems to be everywhere recently. It’s has been in the news, in Africa and even here, in the United States. There is so much speculation and exaggeration on this topic that nobody takes it seriously anymore — that includes our students.

While waiting in line during lunch or simply going to a new class, I have heard many tasteless jokes about the deaths in Africa. I can’t really blame them — adults aren’t taking it seriously either. The tasteless “Sexy Ebola Doctor/Nurse” Halloween costume makes that painfully obvious.

To get things clear, Ebola is a bacterium that originated from an African river, not the government. So, calm down, conspiracy theorists. Ebola is only transmitted by body fluids, which includes vomit, feces, blood, tears and large amounts of spit. By the way, you should already be avoiding half of those things anyway.

The American citizens that have been infected are doctors, nurses and hospital assistants. Makes sense, doesn’t it? After all, they’re the ones that come in close contact with body fluid.

The death rate of Ebola is 50 to 94 percent in Africa (because of the small amount of doctors and proper medicine). Here in the states, only two people have died out of the eight that were infected. Those eight individuals contracted the disease outside of the country. The two people who have contracted Ebola while in the U.S. have recovered.

Ebola does not kill women faster than men. In Africa, women are expected to be the nurse caregivers of the family, just like in most cultures. Because of that reality, they are more likely to come in contact with the disease. Female death rates are higher by default for this reason.

Finally, this is not the first Ebola outbreak, although it is the worst in modern history. Still, there have been waaaayyyy more cases of Ebola outbreaks all over Africa before.

The recent outbreak is a tragedy that has killed thousands. It’s not a joke, but it’s not something to be afraid of either. Panic itself is a much more dangerous disease than