Here's What You Need to Know About the Ebola Virus

by Dr. Danielle N. Lee for The Grio

The first of two individuals who have contracted the deadly Ebola virus arrived in the US on Saturday. A second patient is scheduled to arrive Tuesday.

People are concerned for their safety, and I completely understand how you feel.

In July 2012, I was two and half weeks into my three month research trip to Tanzania when outbreaks of Ebola were reported in neighboring Uganda.

The regions that bordered Uganda were on alert. Fortunately, I was stationed in the east but my reaction was what you would expect: Get me out of here!

I contacted my supervisor and inquired about my evacuation plan.

It is a frightening prospect to have a disease with a 80-90 percent mortality rate so close to home. People are concerned that once Ebola arrives in the US, people here will get sick and the disease will spread.

There are two things, however, that are important for everyone to understand.

First, Ebola is already here in the US. Scientists have been studying the disease in well-secured laboratories for years, and there has been no trouble.

In other words, there have been no new cases or incidences of Ebola from these previous exposures to Ebola and related viral hemorrhagic fever diseases.

Continue reading at The Grio

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