Five Illnesses That Should Worry You More Than Ebola
With the death of the first confirmed Ebola patient in the United States, fears of an outbreak are spreading like wildfire. But honestly Ebola should be the least of your worries.
Don't get me wrong, the threat of Ebola spreading into the United States is terrifying. The disease has killed 6,781 Africans according to the World Health Organization, but it's important to put this in perspective: Ebola's death toll in the United States stands at 1. Since August, the enterovirus has killed 628 Americans. And most of those were children.
Here are five illnesses that you should worry about:
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) states that the United States is currently experiencing a nationwide outbreak of enterovirus D-68 associated with severe respiratory illness. There is no known treatment for enterovirus D-68.
Another virus that causes respiratory infections, Measles were nearly eradicated in the 1960's thanks to the creation of a vaccine. But thanks to idiots--sorry, I mean parents--that believe that their children don't need vaccinations, there have been more than 600 measles cases in 2014, nearly all of them children.
Cases of Pertussis, or Whooping Cough, have risen sharply since 2004. In 2012, 48,277 cases were reported in the U.S. That’s the largest number since 1955. Caused by bacteria, Whooping Cough starts out much like a cold.
We created these monsters, and now we can't stop them. The CDC estimates at least 23,000 people die from infection from antibiotic-resistant bacteria each year. Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA, is the worst of these man-made monsters. MRSA is rampant in our hospitals, and it is spreading.
You are more likely to die from The Flu than any infectious disease. The Flu is on the CDC’s list of 10 top killers and it killed more than 53,000 people in 2010 in the United States alone. Ebola requires contact with bodily fluids like vomit, blood, saliva or urine to transfer from person to person, but influenza is easily airborne on droplets projected from coughs and sneezes.
CAN I PROTECT MYSELF?
Yes. Yes you can. You can protect yourself from all five of these deadly illnesses by following these simple and easy steps:
- Wash your hands. A lot.
- If you’re sick, stay home.
- Keep your home/desk/work area clean and wiped down (especially your keyboard and mouse).
- Sneeze into your elbow, not your hands.
Wash your hands and sneeze into your elbow. Stay home if you're sick. It all seems pretty easy. We’re all in this together.