How much should you be worried about Ebola?


“Have you had contact with the bodily fluids of an infected person?”

Well, since the incubation period is between 2 to 21 days, “Shut the fuck up” isn’t especially helpful. “Avoid contact with bodily fluids as much as possible” would be, though.

I mean, seriously, what is this, Fark?


Is it really unreasonable to be concerned that other people are getting sick and dying? Should Bill Gates not be concerned about malaria just because it’s not carried by mosquitoes that live in greater Seattle?


“Please shut the fuck up” and don’t be worried about the massive humanitarian crisis unfolding in a country that is still recovering from years of civil war. Do I think that there’s any kind of probability that I’m going to catch ebola: no. Do I feel deeply for the people going through this outbreak and think that more governments should be paying attention to this outbreak to help the people affected and make sure that this outbreak doesn’t spread and become much more serious: hell yes.

Seriously what has happened to the boingboing of days gone by? When did this site become just another pile of reblogged facebook clickbait nonsense. Tell me what journalistic value does this post present? I really don’t see the value in sharing bs twitter pictures that value humor over actually caring about a serious new story.


They got your click and mine, so I think they are winning :wink:


So much truth in that. But like all clickbait sites fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me.

The problem with clickbait and all the “tricks” to get more views is that they tend to destroy trust in a site discourages repeat visitors ultimately damaging the site longterm. With a site like boingboing that has thrived on the strength of its community and the high engagement of that community this is a bad precedent to set.

The more articles like this I see the less likely I’m to click on them in the future which means the less value I’m likely to get out of boingboing which means less views and involvement longterm.


They missed a further decision box after that “No”.

It should lead on to "Are you a Healthcare worker who will be in the front line to triage or treat someone coming from an affected country?


Yes? You’re right to be a little worried. Go and review your hospital’s containment and isolation capabilities now

That said, Ebola is eminently containable. If it were droplet spread and as transmissible as Influenza, now that would be truly alarming …


I see. So there’s 100%, absolutely no, absolutely zero, chance anyone outside of a hospital will come in contact with it.

Someone should let those whiners in Africa know.


I wouldn’t say absolutely zero chance but it is worth noting that Emory University Hospital is leaps and bounds ahead of facilities in Africa. In fact it’s leaps and bounds ahead of many U.S. facilities as it is one of four hospitals in the country capable of handling these patients (as stated in the article linked to in the previous BB post…link). Maybe I’m biased. As an Atlantan myself, I have always felt great pride for that particular institution (Emory).

1 Like

Not at all. But you never get 100% certainty about anything and we’re both more likely to die of Influenza than Ebola.

In its “natural” habitat and left to its own devices Ebola will just pick off anyone who comes into contact with it. Given that the local cultural practices and lack of healthcare mandate family members nursing the sick and handling their bodies when they die, it’s going to spread to them until it exhausts its pool of hosts.

That’s not the case in a developed country. Sick people congregate in hospitals —they’re looked after by healthcare workers and the bodies of the dead are also processed by professionals. Which means those people are particularly at risk and will be disproportionately represented in the numbers affected — as is seen in this outbreak and previous ones; and also with the SARS epidemic (which was in many ways potentially worse).

Ebola is scary because if you catch it, the death rate is high and dying while bleeding from every orifice is the stuff of nightmares. But looked at rationally it is a poorly adapted organism —it kills its host too fast and transmissibility is relatively low. So for most people in the developed world it’s still really, really low risk. Unless they’re on the frontline to be screening or treating people with fevers coming from an affected area. Then it’s still low risk, but starting to be worth worrying about.


The author of this flowchart is an idiot for assuming that the only reason to be concerned about Ebola is because one may currently be infected or not.

  1. Outbreaks cause epidemics cause pandemics; so looking down the road is a genuine thing. Particularly, oh, say, if one is thinking about transit between affected regions of central and west Africa, and population centers throughout the world.

  2. Last count I saw, almost 750 people had died in the current outbreak, so anyone who says don’t be concerned about other human lives in a general sense can get get stuffed (really: they can fuck right off).

  3. No one is an island. If one is not personally at risk, does not mean that one’s personal and professional cahoots are not at risk, or the cahoots of one’s loved ones. I am in public health. I have people dear to me in Atlanta who are also in public health. Anyone who says don’t be concerned about other human lives in a specific sense can fuck themselves to the moon and back through a rolling donut.


Yeah, all that too. I hate typing on a tablet so I didn’t even attempt to go into all that. Well said.

1 Like

And I apologise for quoting you rather than the original article. I didn’t realise that ‘copy-pasting’ the text you’d quoted would make it “yours”. I intended a response to the original …

1 Like

I read it for the comments


Fear is the mind killer

citation: this thread except @aeon and as usual, @thewoman

edit: myself included! I fear the willful ignorance!

1 Like

I took a general First Aide course recently. The trainer said over and over, “If it’s liquid, and it’s not yours, don’t touch it.”


Wait… did Rob post while logged in as Xeni?


Trolling is a art.


Aids … estimated 1.7 million deaths in 2012
Malaria … 627000
TB 1.3 million


I believe this infographic is responding to the idiot hysteria being whipped up over the two Ebola-infected Americans who are being transported back to the US for treatment. Lots and lots of “Infected Ebola patients to be brought to the US! Should you be worried?” stories going around, to which this is the perfect antidote.

But heck, concern-trolling is fun too. Party on.