Going Viral

In case you haven’t heard, the Ebola virus — the same one that gave readers the willies in the 1994 book The Hot Zone — is now out of control, and spreading rapidly, in West Africa.

Ebola kills you in horrible ways, and there isn’t any cure. If you catch it, you will almost certainly die of it. It is also very, very contagious.

The CDC says not to worry, according to NBC:

But it’s unlikely to come as far as the U.S., the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says.

“Ebola poses little risk to the U.S. general population,” Stephan Monroe of CDC’s National Center for Emerging & Zoonotic Infectious Diseases told reporters in a conference call. It’s because you have to be in direct contact with someone who is ill to become infected.

“Transmission is through direct contact with the bodily fluids of an infected person,” Monroe said. That includes vomit, blood or diarrhea. “Individuals who are not symptomatic are not contagious,” he said.

The incubation period can last for as long as 21 days, meaning it can take 21 days for someone to develop symptoms after being in contact with an infected person. So in theory, someone could be infected and get on a plane to travel to the U.S. before he or she got sick. But the odds of this are low.

So: rest easy. After all, our borders are secure.

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  1. Kevin Kim says

    Cue music!

    Always look on the bright side of life….

    Posted July 29, 2014 at 12:38 pm | Permalink
  2. JK says

    And now for the bad news …


    Posted July 29, 2014 at 12:48 pm | Permalink
  3. Malcolm says

    As for those resistant bugs: my brother David has been developing (building on my father’s work) a magic bullet for these organisms — using not antibiotics, but antibodies. Clinical trials before the year’s out, I think.

    This will be a very big deal. You heard it here first.

    Posted July 29, 2014 at 2:14 pm | Permalink
  4. “You heard it here first.”

    Godspeed to your brother, Malcolm.

    Posted July 29, 2014 at 3:45 pm | Permalink
  5. Kevin Kim says

    What Henry said. Good luck to your bro.

    Posted July 29, 2014 at 11:03 pm | Permalink
  6. JK says

    What’d I do different?



    Posted July 30, 2014 at 9:52 am | Permalink