Here Are Four Articles To Help You Sleep Better Tonight
When news broke Tuesday that a patient at a Dallas hospital was diagnosed with the Ebola virus after traveling from Liberia, mayhem broke loose. Here are four articles that argue the outlook isn’t as disastrous as some would have you believe.
Don’t Panic over Ebola in America: “When Ebola has edged into countries with stronger health systems, it’s been stopped cold. Cases have been discovered in Senegal and Nigeria, but the countries managed to stop the spread of the disease. The Nigeria experience is particularly encouraging.” [VOX, 9/30/2014]
How Government Healthcare Will Save Us From Ebola: “Ultimately, Americans can feel secure that Ebola will be contained in the United States because we’ve established a robust government funded health care system that, in collaboration with the private sector, protects everyone from a public health catastrophe.” [ThinkProgress, 10/1/2014]
Nigeria’s Actions Seem to Contain Ebola Outbreak: “While the danger in Nigeria is not over, the health minister, Dr. Onyebuchi Chukwu, said in a telephone interview that his country was now better prepared, with six laboratories able to make diagnoses and response teams and isolation wards ready in every major state.” [New York Times, 9/30/2014]
Some good news about Ebola: It won’t spread nearly as fast as some other epidemics: “Math and history show us that decisive efforts to isolate those who are infected with Ebola and to follow up quickly with the potential contacts of the infected can help control an epidemic.” [Washington Post, 9/29/2014]
It’s important to note that for the last year, America has been without a Surgeon General due to obstructionists in the Senate. Leadership and clarification is the role that our nation’s top doctor must play in the time of public health crises. Since we’ve been without a Surgeon General, well over 416,000 Americans have died of cancer, over 142,898 have succumbed to their addiction, and 92,430 people have died from diabetes. This is obviously a far greater number than one person diagnosed within our borders.
BOTTOM LINE: One Ebola case diagnosed in the United States is not cause for mass frenzy. However, we need to acknowledge health challenges that do pose a threat, like the fact that since 2010, the agency leading the Ebola effort has had $600 million cut from its budget. It’s time to quiet the fear-mongering over Ebola, confirm a Surgeon General, and make sure doctors are able to get to work doing their jobs.
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