Why I’m worried about Ebola and Why I shouldn’t be.

I sat in the corner of the minibus waiting for it to fill up. It was after 2pm and the sun was blazing. I was dying to get home and just shed off my clothes and cool down. Then an overweight woman came in, with sweat gushing out of her poles and wetting her skin. She chose the seat right next to me squeezing me further into the corner. I was wearing a sleeveless top so our skins were touching and all I could think about was “Oh God! please don’t let me get Ebola!”

A few days ago I got horridly sick. I was vomiting every 20 minutes and had an episode of diarrhea every 30 minutes. So I kept on dashing to the toilet every 10 minutes. It was horrible. I felt extremely weak and helpless. When The Hub tried to help me up I exclaimed “No! don’t touch me! It might be Ebola! Save yourself!” It turned out to be food poisoning.

I admit, I’m obsessed with Ebola. I have been following it from the time it was reported that 50 people died till now when over 4000 fatalities have been recorded. I am afraid of the disease arriving in Zambia because I worry that I might be exposed to it. They say avoid crowded places, well I get on a fully packed bus twice a day where skins rub and there’s enough mixing of sweat to make a cocktail. There has been a large number of health workers that have contracted the virus, well I work at the largest hospital in Zambia and that puts me in the battle front.

The more terrifying thing is that I can’t see the Zambian authorities getting serious with the screening. The airports might be covered but what about the roads and the hospitals? Are they checking every patient exhibiting symptoms for Ebola or are they first checking for everything else? The USA is a super power but look at how their first Ebola case was handled, he was sent back home from the ER the first time and his house was only disinfected after 5 days of being diagnosed. I hope Zambia is prepared or at least getting prepared. Yesterday we received a text from the Ministry of Health that gave a few tips on Ebola. It said “Do not touch blood, saliva, excreta, urine or any other body fluids of suspected Ebola patients. wash your hands with soap & water regularly to prevent Ebola” It’s a step in the right direction. They are aiming at sensitizing the people before the virus invades us. They put up a helpline on their site but it doesn’t seem to be working on some networks.

There have been people that have been coming up with conspiracy theories about it. A very recent one is Chris Brown who said he thought Ebola is a form of population control. That’s his opinion and I respect that. But I would think that population control would target the weakest and least useful to society. Then why is Ebola eradicating the useful members of society, the health workers and providers? What is very evident is that Ebola is showing our huge need for bigger and better equipped hospitals.

But I have hope that we can control it. We just need to look at Nigeria and how they did it. In a country of over 170 million people they managed to contain Ebola and the number of fatalities is not more than 20. They haven’t had any new infections for the past 5 weeks and will soon be declared Ebola-Free. So I shouldn’t be worried because if we contain it by quarantining every case upon discovery, disinfecting houses and investigating all who have had contact with a suspected case, we just might have a chance. Early detection is the best way to protect everyone, that’s why we need to get extremely serious with screening. But in the meantime, I’m saving up, I need to get my own car soon.

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7 thoughts on “Why I’m worried about Ebola and Why I shouldn’t be.

  1. why are you worried about West African Ebola, when our neighboring Congo DR’s been having Ebola ouybreaks every decade or so?
    Bird flu and Swine Flu caused bigger scares and disappeared.
    Lastly, Zambia is a Christian nation, making us safe from Ebola (but not poverty)

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  2. I respect you and thank you for being on the front lines. Im not sure what they are doing for staff in the education department but I know (as a former hospital educator) that you have to go beyond the standards that the hospital gives you to protect yourself. Please take care !

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