On October 21, 2014 | 0 Comments

Ebola: What the United States might learn from West Africa 

The Ebola story continues to unfold rapidly. In this post, a follow-up to my first article, I look at how the CDC and other US medical authorities have been learning their lessons–fast. The initial approach was somewhat cocky, i.e. Ebola “will never come to the USA,” but many have quickly learned their lesson.

In my follow-up piece written about 6 days ago and posted today, I point out some or the mistakes we made, but I am still not suggesting that Ebola will become an epidemic in this country, nor am I trying to whip up the already well-established hysteria that has been out of proportion to the facts. It still remains stunning that with THREE cases in the USA, compared to 10,000 plus in West Africa, the country has gone ballistic with shrill panic.

One aspect that has confused many are the words INFECTIOUS and CONTAGIOUS. “Infectious” means that a very small amount of virus or bacteria can cause illness–which is Ebola, or small pox, for example. “Contagious” refers to how easily it spreads–which is like influenza and NOT Ebola, because whereas I can sit 6 feet away from someone with the flu and catch it without even touching him/her, that doesn’t happen with Ebola. I have to get some kind of Ebola-infected fluid ON ME.

Read the latest post at and please leave any comments or questions you might have. I’ll do my best to answer them. Also let me know if you would like a review of the strange lingo of medicine, e.g. why is a NEGATIVE lab test a GOOD thing?