As the unforgiving Ebola virus spreads through African villages, families are separated by death, and children abandoned. However, while most Americans have already heard about the Ebola outbreak, many do not have the sympathy to help, because they are uneducated and therefore, are afraid of contracting Ebola themselves. In order to help villages suffering with Ebola, the United States should convince more Americans to go to Africa, by educating them with information about Ebola. By having the correct knowledge about Ebola, the Americans will be able to overcome their unfounded fears, and gain the confidence that is needed in order to take action.
Hearing about Ebola on the television is often very misleading, because the media likes to exaggerate the information that they are given. However, the truth is that Ebola is not as contagious to Americans as the media portrays it; has no ability to travel through air; and will be less likely to infect the United States if cured quickly. One of the most misleading things that the media has gotten Americans to believe is that health workers, who have been to Africa, will come back to the United States and infect everyone with Ebola.
In response, many Americans do not want health workers to be sent toAfric a in the first place. Unfortunately, not many Americans actually know how Ebola is spread, and therefore do not know that it is not easy to contract. In the Article, “The Real Ebola Risk is to Africa, not the United States,” the author describes that Ebola’s “transmission requires close contact and exchange of bodily fluids such as blood, sweat or saliva between people” Norris 2 (“The Real Ebola” 2).
If people in America knew this information, they may not be so hesitant to send workers to Africa, because the people would know that trained workers will be able to practice safety precautions, such as wearing gloves, or not even touching an infected body at all. What needs to be realized is that Ebola is like any other contagious disease.
Obviously, if one touches an infected body, they will contract the disease also, considering that Ebola is spread through transmission of bodily fluids, making it harder to be contracted. Secondly, another article called, “Ebola: The Disease Is Not the Real Problem” explains that even if Ebola was easy to contract, “most of us who don’t come into contact with bodily fluids on a regular basis should be safe” (Allison 1).
This quote gives average Americans more confidence, because even though Ebola isn’t very likely to catch for health workers, it is even less likely that the average American will be infected. Lastly, the reason why so many Africans are dying from Ebola is because “the people who are dying are mostly women who care for the sick, their children and people who touch dead bodies during funeral rituals” (Hesman 2). Most Americans would not touch an infected corpse, making Ebola less of a threat to them. However if African villages had been educated about Ebola, then many people would not touch the infected bodies or corpses, and avoid contracting the deadly disease.
Another misconception about Ebola that most Americans have is that Ebola can be spread by being in the same atmosphere as one who is infected. Like the HIV virus, Ebola is also only able to be spread through transmission of bodily fluids, but ‘“of all the years we’ve known HIV, and with all the replication and mutation, it has never changed its transmission,’ says Fauci” (Sifferlin 2). Comparing a larger grown virus, HIV, to the sudden Ebola outbreak suggests that if people are around to help those with HIV, why should they not help Ebola Norris 3 patients?
If Americans were educated about Ebola, many may realize that it is like many other sicknesses, and like many other sicknesses, one will not be infected if there is minimum contact. Recently, scientists also studied the transmission of Ebola by placing a pig with the zaire-ebola virus near a primate. The primate did get Ebola, but “Pigs seem to give off more aerosolized viral particles than other species…If it’s going to spread by aerosols then pigs are to do it” (Hesman 2). The same experiment was redone later, except this one was between two primates.
By the end of the experiment, the unaffected primate did not contract Ebola from the infected primate, proving that, “You can make almost anything happen in a lab” (Sifferlin 2). The reason why these two quotes are important to one’s education of Ebola is that, it is similar to hearing a one sided story from the media, contrasted to hearing the whole story. Someone who has heard from the media that Ebola could be spread through the air, may be discouraged to go to Africa and help Ebola patients. However, a reader who has been fully educated on Ebola transmissions would know that Ebola cannot be transmitted by air, and would be more likely to help Ebola patients in Africa.
The last thing that cripples the speed of finding an Ebola cure is Americans not wanting to send their health workers to America. Apart from being uneducated, some Americans do not want to help Africa, because Ebola is simply not involved with the United States at all. Unfortunately, “The Ebola outbreak could last for years and spread to many more countries if it not controlled quickly” (Szabo 1). Once Americans know this information, they may be more interested in helping Africa.
It is typical human nature to think about how something will benefit them self, but by educating one on how Ebola could hurt people around them, opposed to people in Africa, they will become more sympathetic. While the Ebola survivor, Kent Brantly, is being interviewed, he shares some statistics such as, “Two months ago the death toll has tripled…In Norris 4 nine months down the road, we are looking at hundreds and thousands, not just cases, but deaths” (Szabo 1). While Brantly says this, he hopes that these statistics will help Americans realize how crucial it is for Africa to receive immediate help.
Lastly, the director of the national center for emerging and zoonotic infectious diseases tells lawmakers, “If we do not act now to stop Ebola, we could be dealing with it for years to come” (Szabo 1). Information given like this, gives many countries, not only the United States, a decision about whether they would like to solve Ebola before it becomes the whole world’s problem. If all the countries were educated on Ebola statistics, transmission, and the risk of catching the disease, people would find out that there is no better option, other than helping to find a cure.
Many people may think that sending American health workers to Africa will harm them, and that Obama is wasting money by doing something that is unrelated to America. However, sending health care workers to Africa will be better for the future, and with the right safety, health workers are less likely to be harmed. If health workers do get harmed in the process, one health worker that could potentially be cured is better than the whole United States being infected with Ebola. Secondly, Africa’s government is not rich enough to help cure Ebola alone, therefore Africa needs help from America to contain the problem in Africa, before it spreads uncontrollably and moves to different continents.
In conclusion, the best way to convince Americans to support the health care workers going to Africa is by educating them. With the correct Ebola information, people will overcome their fear and find out that Ebola is not as frightening as the media portrays it. In the future, if there ever was another Ebola outbreak, people should be educated about Ebola ahead of time to avoid anyone from touching infected corpses, and other countries should be less hesitant to help. Norris 5 Works Cited Allison, Simon. “Ebola: The Disease Is Not the Real Problem.
” Daily Maverick 4 Aug. 2014: n. pag. The Daily Maverick. Web. 28 Sept. 2014 Hesman Saey,Tina. “Airborne Transmission Of Ebola Unlikely, Monkey Study Shows. ” Science News 186. 5 (2014): 7. MasterFILE Premier. Web. 22 Sept. 2014 Liz, Szabo, and TODAY USA. “Crisis could last years if not capped quickly. ” USA Today n. d. : MasterFILE Premier. Web. 19 Sept. 2014. Sifferlin, Alexandra. “Airborne Ebola Is Extremely Unlikely, Expert Says. ” Time. Com (2014): 1. MasterFILE Premier. Web. 22 Sept. 2014. “The Real Ebola Risk Is to Africa, Not the United States. ” Editorial. Washington Post 5 Aug. 2014: n. pag. Web.