At first, Ebola seemed terrifying. A deadly assassin waiting to seep into our veins and kill.
The high fatality rate of the disease and so called ‘reports’ of zombie-like activity from those suffering did very little to reassure me that I will survive.
I had visions of decaying beings stumbling around in a hunt for brains whilst health officials examined the situation in hazmat suits, a scene reminiscent of a Breaking Bad-The Walking Dead crossover. Now that would be something I’d love to see.
The World Health Organisation declared it an ‘international health emergency’. I declare it as panicking for the sake of panicking.
In no means am I detracting from the fact that Ebola has already killed between 5,000 and 15,000 people. That is a tragedy.
But all it takes is a little reminder that back in 2009, we were all just as afraid of catching swine flu and the vast majority of us managed to avoid that pandemic.
The WHO were criticised at the time for its over preparation. Head of Health at the Council of Europe, Wolfgang Wodarg, labeled swine flu as a ‘false pandemic’ and ‘one of the greatest medical scandals of the century’.
It may lose that title very soon.
Ebola is actually difficult to catch. Here’s a little science. It isn’t airborne. It cannot be contracted unless there is direct contact with the blood or bodily fluids of someone infected.
If the British government aren’t too concerned then neither should we be, publishing this statement on their website:“The risk to the general public in the UK remains very low”.
It has also become apparent that Ebola isn’t the death warrant it appeared to be. Nina Pham, a nurse infected with the disease whilst treating a patient, was this week discharged from a US hospital after a complete recovery.
On her release, she met with President Obama who wasn’t afraid to give her a warm, welcoming hug.
The President has said that the treatment of Ebola “must be guided by facts, not fear”. It seems the US leader has a bit more sense than our own.
This week, David Cameron pledged £80 million to help “contain and eradicate” the epidemic. That may seem like a good thing.
After all, prevention is better than cure right? I agree it is but the government has already donated £125 million to fighting Ebola, something that in their words is ‘low risk’ to us.
Perhaps it would be more worthwhile putting that money into the NHS so that if, and when, this country does face a medical crisis, we will have better facilities to be able to treat it.
It could have been a substantial benefit in finding a cure for cancer, or treating heart and lung disease, illnesses which kill a staggering amount of the British public every year.
Ebola shouldn’t be a priority to the UK.