INTERESTING THE EBOLA VIRUS REPORTER: Alyssa Varas DON’T BE AFRAID Many nations are frightened by the threatening Ebola virus. Beginning in Africa, it is believed that the virus’ original hosts was a species of tropical bats. A human was eventually infected by a bat and spread it on to his or her community, and thus the spreading began. Ebola can be spread by contact or exchange in bodily fluids. It begins with a fever that can quickly escalate into internal bleeding, weakness, and aches and can eventually result in death. Two Americans who contracted the disease in Africa were brought to the hospital of Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia in early August to be examined and treated for the virus. The doctors found a treatment. Recently, a man in the United States was diagnosed with the Ebola virus after arriving from Liberia, and passed away ten days after being diagnosed and treated in Dallas. A terrifying thought of a rising epidemic is crossing the minds of millions and creating an international crisis. The Ebola virus came to the United States for the first time in early August when two Americans, Dr. Kant Brantly and Nancy Writebol, returned from West Africa where they were infected when helping with the treatment of the virus. They were taken to the hospital of Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia where they were held in solitary. They were cured and let out a few weeks later. Ebola has no vaccine, the patients are usually treated by stabilizing them in solitary confinement to give there immune system time to fight the virus off. The two Americans were cured after taking an experimental drug called Zmapp, but it is not certain whether or not it actually helped them. Dr. Brantly and Writebol are said to not be contagious and now immune to the Ebola virus all together. With this news, many people were relieved from the thought of a cure being found. But about a month later, an American was diagnosed with Ebola. Thomas Eric Duncan was diagnosed with Ebola on September 29. Duncan did not show symptoms of the virus until four days after he came to America from Liberia. Duncan denied that he cared for a sick person when he was in Africa, though there is proof that he lied. The New York Times reports, quoting his family and friends, that Duncan helped carry Marthalene Williams, an infected and pregnant 19-year-old Liberian, into a taxi on its way to the hospital. She was later turned away because there was no room. It is said that he lied in order to get on a plane to America. Duncan stated that he was here to visit family, though his current girlfriend stated that he was here to get married. With all of these rumors, authorities believe that Duncan How to protect yourself Wash your hands frequently. As with other infectious diseases, one of the most important preventive measures is frequent hand-washing. Use soap and water, or use alcoholbased hand rubs containing at least 60 percent alcohol when soap and water aren’t available. only came here because there is a low chance of being helped in Africa. The Liberian authorities say that they would prosecute Duncan after his return to Liberia. Many doctors state that there is a very low chance that anyone on the plane to America caught the virus because he was not experiencing any symptoms yet. When he arrived in the United States, he went to Dallas Hospital with complains of abdominal pain and a low fever. The doctors sent him home with antibiotics. He came back three days later and was diagnosed with the Ebola virus. He was then quarantined in Dallas Hospital. Duncan passed away on October 8, only ten days after being diagnosed with the virus. Officials say he will be cremated, saying the process will kill any virus in the deceased body so that his loved ones could have his remains. Duncan’s closest relatives were told to stay in their apartment, where Duncan was staying, until October 19th so authorities could see if they have contracted the disease by then. But since that apartment was not well-kept and also needed to be cleaned, they have been relocated to a private 4-bedroom apartment in Dallas. All people who Duncan had contact with within those four days of having a low fever are currently being monitored for the virus, some even kept in isolation. One man who did not even touch Duncan, but was only in his apartment where Duncan fell ill. This man, Dallas County Sheriff Deputy Michael Monnig, was rushed to the Dallas hospital after showing symptoms of the Ebola virus. As the United States panics in the thought of Ebola becoming an airborne disease, President Barack Obama has set up a plan to mitigate the Ebola outbreak. In the airports of West Africa, everyone leaving the region is checked for a fever. If they’re healthy, they’re allowed to leave. Many people believe this tactic will not help since people who are infected do not show symptoms until a few days after they contract the disease. Another part of Obama’s plan, which has already been put into action, is the sending of portable hospitals, doctors, and medical supplies to Liberia.