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Americans Are Way Too Worried About Ebola

air pollution

People should worry more about air pollution, which causes 200,000 early deaths each year

The American public is radically more concerned about an Ebola outbreak here in the US than they should be.

According to a new Washington Post/ABC News poll 43 percent are worried that they or someone in their immediate family might catch the Ebola virus. In addition an incredible two thirds of the country is concerned about the possibility of a widespread Ebola epidemic occurring in the United States.

To put it simply this is an insane and completely unjustifiable level of fear. You are more likely to be killed by basically anything other than Ebola. The media has done a serious disservice feeding this irrational fear.

Ebola is a nasty virus but it is mainly a problem in West Africa because of bad infrastructure, serious poverty, highly inadequate health care systems, local funeral traditions, and government corruption.

Ebola is not airborne. It can only be spread by direct contact with body fluids, so there is basically no way it can become an epidemic here in the United States, with an adequate disease response system. Unless you are touching dead bodies of Ebola victims or people who appear very sick, since people are not contagious until they develop symptoms, there is basically no chance of you contracting the virus. Since only a handful of America’s trained health professional are working with the few people infected with Ebola in this country the other 99.9999% of us are fine.

Americans should be worried about almost anything else instead of Ebola. Like for example air pollution, which causes 200,000 early deaths each year according to one study, and well deserves this level of public concern.

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Americans Are Way Too Worried About Ebola

air pollution

People should worry more about air pollution, which causes 200,000 early deaths each year

The American public is radically more concerned about an Ebola outbreak here in the US than they should be.

According to a new Washington Post/ABC News poll 43 percent are worried that they or someone in their immediate family might catch the Ebola virus. In addition an incredible two thirds of the country is concerned about the possibility of a widespread Ebola epidemic occurring in the United States.

To put it simply this is an insane and completely unjustifiable level of fear. You are more likely to be killed by basically anything other than Ebola. The media has done a serious disservice feeding this irrational fear.

Ebola is a nasty virus but it is mainly a problem in West Africa because of bad infrastructure, serious poverty, highly inadequate health care systems, local funeral traditions, and government corruption.

Ebola is not airborne. It can only be spread by direct contact with body fluids, so there is basically no way it can become an epidemic here in the United States, with an adequate disease response system. Unless you are touching dead bodies of Ebola victims or people who appear very sick, since people are not contagious until they develop symptoms, there is basically no chance of you contracting the virus. Since only a handful of America’s trained health professional are working with the few people infected with Ebola in this country the other 99.9999% of us are fine.

Americans should be worried about almost anything else instead of Ebola. Like for example air pollution, which causes 200,000 early deaths each year according to one study, and well deserves this level of public concern.

Photo by www.TheEnvironmentalBlog.org under Creative Commons license

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Jane Hamsher

Jane Hamsher

Jane is the founder of Firedoglake.com. Her work has also appeared on the Huffington Post, Alternet and The American Prospect. She’s the author of the best selling book Killer Instinct and has produced such films Natural Born Killers and Permanent Midnight. She lives in Washington DC.
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