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Friday, October 10, 2014

Ebola. To fear or not to fear?

Twitter is tweeting and the news is buzzing with anything to do with Ebola. It’s a genuine fear about a deadly disease that mutates quickly and has no known cure.

A Harvard poll conducted in August, before the United States’ first case of Ebola entered the country, found that 4 in 10 Americans are worried about a major Ebola outbreak. If a poll were taken here in Canada, similar results would be likely.

Does the threat of Ebola have you worried?

Do you think Canada is ready should Ebola make its way here?

It appears with the unknown comes a variety of opinions about how it will affect us. What do you think?  Does it concern you enough to take extra precautionary measures?

On October 6th, Global News reported 5 reasons why Canada is highly unlikely to be struck with Ebola. 

1)     In Canada, there is trust in medical officials – There is some mistrust of modern medicine and hospitals in Africa. Those seeking alternate means for a cure increase the risk of more people being infected.

2)     There are cultural differences - Burial rituals that involve washing and kissing the body increase the risk of exposure.  We do not have the same rituals here.

3)     There is action taken with suspected cases – Canada’s hospitals, government, agencies and the media communicate together to get the word out.  Africa doesn’t have the same infrastructure.

4)     Our health care system is prepared for potential cases – Protocol changed dramatically in North America after the SARS epidemic. Systems are now in place to monitor and educate the public when emergencies arise. Getting the word out is more difficult in Africa; a disease spreads quickly before health organizations can education the population about safe practices.

5)     Canada is sending resources to West Africa - On Saturday, Canada announced it is sending a second team with a mobile laboratory to West Africa.

Here are some other reasons it is thought Canada is a low-risk country:

-        CTV news reports that next week Canada is sending an experimental Ebola vaccine to the World Health Organization for future trials and use. Canada’s involvement means accessibility to preventative measures.
-        6 airports are now screening passengers in Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver, Halifax, Ottawa and Calgary. The US announced that airports in New York, Washington, Newark, Chicago, and Atlanta will be providing screening as well. 
-        Canada gets few visitors from the most infected countries

Do you agree?

CTV News reports  that despite the many beliefs that the risk is low of Ebola coming to Canada, others say it is just a matter of time.

-        Thomas Eric Duncan, the first person in the United States diagnosed with Ebola, felt fine when he entered the United States. Even had the airport screening been in effect at that time, his illness would not have been detected.
-        Others say that unless all air travel is banned from Africa, then an automatic quarantine period of 21 days should be enacted for all those who travel between the two countries regardless of how they feel.

The reality is, we really do not know what is going to happen, and it is when we feel out of control that we feel fear towards a situation. The best solution is to be prepared, at all times, for any kind of natural disaster, epidemic or unforeseen circumstance. We can live in fear, or we can prepare ourselves and have confidence knowing we can at least take care of ourselves and our loved ones. In addition to having sufficient food, water, tools and emergency kits on hand, make sure you add extra masks, gowns, eye protection and gloves to your supply. When there is no cure for an illness, preparedness and being informed are your best tools for staying alive.

Our hearts go out to all those around the world who are struggling with this disease. We hope a cure is found soon and that the suffering and fear will be over. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if Twitter and the news were flooded with stories of people beating this cruel disease.  We can only hope.

Total Prepare Inc, is a Canadian Emergency Preparedness company that gives peace of mind solutions for troubling times. 

http://totalprepare.ca

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