Ebola hysteria is raging in the media coverage – and in the real world – here in the United States. A patient died in a Dallas hospital on Oct 8 and infected two nurses caring for him (so far). One of the two nurses had a fever, did the right thing by calling the Centers for Disease Control to ask if she could travel by airplane, but they nonetheless did not stop her from flying. The airplane she was on made 5 more flights the next day before the airline got word of their passenger and pulled it from service. The plane had already been cleaned three times, and now the microfilters will also be replaced. The two pilots and four flight attendants on board the flight were placed on paid leave for 21 days (the maximum time it takes for Ebola to appear in newly infected people). Ebola screening at four major U.S. airports has been stepped up and some schools in Ohio and Texas temporarily closed.
Is all of this necessary, given that the disease is contracted through bodily fluids? How about some alarm for the flu season that is upon is, and the fact that flu is much, much easier to contract from a sick person? The 2009 H1N1 Flu Pandemic killed more than 10,000 people in the United States. But does everyone get his or her flu shot? No – not even half of the population here in the States do.