Updated 05:08 AM EDT, Wed, May 24, 2017
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Ebola Virus Outbreak 2014 - Texas Updaes: Fact vs. Fiction & Outlook for Epidemic

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Ebola
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In times of crisis there is always the initial human reaction of turning to sheer panic. Although the Ebola Virus has yet to reach the United States in any serious way, the epidemic is still being closely monitored by major American news organizations. This focus on a far off disease instills fear in the American people, who have undoubtedly seen one too many Hollywood blockbusters where a dangerous virus is unleashed against the world.

The Ebola Virus has assumed it's own personality in recent weeks and so to counteract the vast amount of myths and assumptions that are floating around, we've assembled a top list of misinformation.

The Cure is Near

In the 21st century most people assume that a scientist can quickly snap his fingers and conjure up a vaccination. The process of actually creating and testing such a vaccine could take six-months at least before it is ready for distribution. There are numerous tests and red tape that must be crossed first. Initial reports say that serious testing could start as early as the spring of 2015, but this is an overly positive assumption.

Airborne?

The Ebola Virus is not and will not become an airborne virus. The genetic makeup of the virus would have to shift rapidly for this to occur in the human body. There are only two processes by which this would be possible; the first is natural selection and the second is random mutations. Natural selection would be if the virus is put to the brink of extinction and it must shift its form to stay alive. Since there is no cure, the virus is not running into any adaptation problems that would force it to shift.

Random mutations are also out of the question because it would be too much of a leap to just randomly happen. Currently Ebola focuses on endothelial cells that line the circulatory system cells which causes bleeding both internally and externally. The virus would have to adapt to be able to cause harm in the lungs, which consists of alveolar cells.

Ebola is Terribly Contagious

The fact of the matter is that Ebola is not an overly contagious disease. Evidence for this is clearly shown in the Dallas case where more than 50 people came into contact with the victim and only one actually caught the virus, a nurse. "Ebola is not a terribly infectious disease," said Joel Selanikio, a former U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) epidemiologist. "It's quite difficult to get." By simply washing your hands and not touching your face, the chances of contracting Ebola are very slim, as seen in Dallas.

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