Well, it finally happened. A doctor that recently returned from
Guinea tested positive for Ebola on Thursday. What's more, he is
now being held in isolation at New York's Bellevue Hospital
Center. That's right - the Ebola disease has officially made it's
way to the biggest city on the eastern seaboard. As such, a lot
of concerns are starting to arise: how do you get Ebola? Am I at
risk? What about my pets?As it stands, you are still
3.5 times more likely to be eaten by a shark
anywhere in the world than you are to contract Ebola
in America. And unless you live on
or swim around the ocean with fistfuls of chum, your odds of
becoming shark bait are 1 in 3.7 million. That puts your odds of
getting Ebola at a staggering
1 in 13.3 million
"But isn't the Ebola disease highly contagious?"
You might be asking yourself this. And you are not wrong. In the
right circumstances, Ebola can spread like wildfire. However,
happen to be direct contact with blood, saliva, and other
bodily excretions of a person showing visible signs of Ebola. It
is not an airborne contagion, nor can you catch it from someone
that isn't visibly symptomatic. And in America, where we have the
resources to actually quarantine people showing signs of
infection, the likelihood that you come into contact with anyone
carrying the virus are next to zero.
"Well, what are the symptoms?"
"A guy with a runny nose just sneezed on me!" you could be
shouting. Well, fear not.
symptoms of Ebola
- Severe headache
- Muscle pain
- Stomach pain
- Unexplained hemorrhaging (bleeding or bruising)
"What about my pets? Are they safe?"
A very good question. While people are generally unlikely to
handle an infected person's fluids, our dogs and cats tend to be
a little more adventurous in regards to what they eat/roll around
study conducted by the CDC in 2002
states that "dogs can be infected by Ebola virus and that the
putative infection is asymptomatic." In layman's terms, that
means yes, dogs can contract Ebola, but they do so without
showing any symptoms or effects. So while your dog could pick up
Ebola and potentially pass it along (the transmission mechanism,
if any, is still largely unknown), they themselves will not get
sick.As for cats, there are no conclusive studies stating their
ability to carry the disease one way or the other.
"What does it all mean?"
All this boils down to one thing - neither you or your pets are
in any immediate danger. Yes, Ebola is here. And yes, it is
a very scary and serious condition. However, the fact that we
live in a fully developed country with state-of-the-art medical
facilities gives us a serious leg up in terms of
quelling the outbreak of this deadly disease. Just make sure
to steer clear of people that look visibly sick (which is just a
good idea anyway), practice careful hygiene, and closely monitor
what your pet puts in their mouth.
Can Your Dog Get Ebola? The Answer May Surprise You
has been running stories nonstop about this latest outbreak of
the Ebola virus -- and for good reason. Of the 1,323 reported
cases, 932 have been declared dead, making this highly
transmittable contagion one of the most lethal.And now that a
person with Ebola, Nancy Writebol, has been brought stateside and
admitted into a hospital in Atlanta, people in America are
finally starting to take notice. Many are concerned about how the
outbreak will affect them.But
what about our pets?
Sources:CDC - Ebola
Virus Antibody Prevalence in Dogs and Human RiskCDC
Questions and Answers on EbolaNPR -
What's My Risk Of Catching Ebola?