Tara Smith is an Associate Professor of Epidemiology at Kent State University. Her research focuses on zoonotic infections (infections which move between animals and people) and she writes for various outlets. Instead of politically motivated fear and panic mongering, she offered a bit of much needed perspective.
Tara said, “Yes, Ebola has a fairly high fatality rate, killing many people who are infected with the virus, but there still haven’t been very many deaths from Ebola overall. Ebola has caused approximately 4000 infections and 2400 deaths since the first outbreak was recorded in 1976. That’s an average of 64 people per year over 38 years.
“In contrast, malaria kills more than 600,000 people every year, or about 68 people per hour. Ebola is an undeniably scary infection, but it’s not one that needs to be feared in the United States. The outbreak in West Africa will eventually burn out, and the virus will retreat once again into the forest, moving silently among its bat hosts until the next unfortunate soul accidentally steps into its path.”
Ebola Ebola Ebola