The Ebola virus has recently excited great fear due to its outbreak in West Africa this summer. Although the disease is awful when one contracts the virus, Moorestown Friends Science Department Chair Barbara “Barb” Kreider, with whom WordsWorth discussed the topic, believes the virus has been “hyped” up in our country: “Our news media…is using terms such as ‘outbreak’ and ‘epidemic’, which it’s not… we don’t have enough numbers.” There have been few confirmed cases of Ebola in America, which is why Kreider believes that the general public should not be scared of contracting the virus. Also, it’s essential to remember that the disease is not airborne: it is safe to be in a room with somebody with Ebola as long as bodily fluids are not exchanged. Additionally, Kreider believes that since Ebola is “different than it was twenty years ago,” in that containment of the disease is easier due to the advancement in “transatlantic travel,” it should not be feared as much as it was in the past. Dr. Kreider described Ebola as a “stupid virus.” More and more people are being educated about the virus, and many countries are hell-bent on containing and finding a cure.
While Ebola is not a large threat to the US, it is still dangerous in Africa, so while Barb says that Americans need not be alarmed, the search for a cure is still vital. For more information, an Ebola bulletin board made by Mr. Newman’s epidemiology class is located in the basement, and he and Barb are happy to answer any questions about the virus.