Despite Ebola panic, fear unwarrented

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Society Staff Writer| Melanie Foster | mf009413@ohio.edu 

Ebola is making headlines in every paper, article and TV show, creating a wave of panic and terror. However, no one expected that it could affect you.

According to Cleveland.com, Ebola is making waves in Ohio after Amber Joy, a nurse, “felt funny” in Northeast Ohio before she flew back to her home in Dallas, Texas and tested positive for Ebola. She was not showing symptoms until the day after she arrived in Dallas. The website also explains that Joy was visiting her family in Cleveland and plan her wedding, causing three Ohioans to be put in quarantine and 142 to be monitored for symptoms.

Although she would only be contagious if she showed symptoms such as fever, vomiting and diarrhea, some local schools, businesses and city government buildings were closed until they were properly cleaned.

While it remains unlikely that anyone in Ohio will be diagnosed with Ebola, controversial panic has spread. Chelsea Foster, a graduate student data analyst for transplant administration at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, discussed the hospital’s current preparation if Ebola became an issue in Ohio.

She is “comforted with the fact that hospitals are being so proactive,” with emails, preparation and learning from past mistakes. She believes “the breach by the hospital in Texas has been a learning experience for all United States hospitals and for the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).”

Foster is not too concerned about Ebola and believes many people are making it into a bigger issue than it actually is. She does add, “It is a scary disease because, when contracted, the death rate is high.” She hopes many people’s fears will be alleviated as education on the disease is given.

Freshman nursing student Maria Sturtevant agrees that social media is spreading unnecessary terror. She doesn’t think the outbreak will cause a problem in the United States because of its “more advanced technology and understanding.” She thinks Ohio University should raise awareness about how the disease is spread.

Both women agree that education is the most important tool and can help lessen the fear.  While the disease continues to spread and kill many people throughout Africa, here it is contained and under control.

Officials at the Ohio Department of Health specify that no cases have been diagnosed in Ohio. However, they do have a 24-hour call center waiting to answer any questions citizens have about Ebola on any given day.

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