I mean, seriously…the Ebola virus just looks like an earthworm of some sort. But despite its unfortunate lack of cute, Ebola is a big deal. A really big deal. In this post, I’ll tell you what the big deal is, and why you just might have to start worrying about it.
First of all, the real Ebola virus is just as unimpressive-looking as the toy:
The reason Ebola is a big deal right now is that there’s been a recent outbreak of it in Western Uganda. And some of you might be all like, “That’s sad and everything, but I definitely don’t live anywhere close to Western Uganda.” And while that may be true, you should be aware that an Ebola-infected prisoner from Uganda has escaped…and no one knows where he is.
Ebola is highly infectious and contagious, so you should really be concerned if this man goes…well, anywhere, really. Europe, Australia, Peru, your backyard…an Ebola outbreak that isn’t properly contained has the potential to turn into a global epidemic.
The symptoms of Ebola are pretty nasty, so you should stay away from people with the following disturbing side effects (and make sure you don’t have them yourself):
- bloody diarrhea
- bleeding from the eyes and mouth (and other mucous membranes)
- and more.
I have to imagine you would keep your distance from a person with these issues anyway, and that you’d get yourself to a doctor if you were experiencing them. The virus can spread through contact with bodily fluids, and there is no cure or vaccine for it.
That’s right, this thing is ugly. Sixty-eight percent of the infected die, and all doctors can really do is try to keep you hydrated as you bloody diarrhea yourself to death.
Ignore the fact that “diarrhea” isn’t a verb.
Voiced by Chris Rock, Osmosis is an anthropomorphic white blood cell who’s trying to kill a virus that’s trying to kill Bill Murray. Okay. Now that you’ve taken all of that in, add the fact that the evil virus is named Thrax and looks like this:
Alright, the point of all this is that, even though Thrax can be quoted as saying “Ebola is a case of DANDRUFF compared to me!” Thrax is just some completely made-up guy with a long claw finger that sets cells on fire. There is no possible way for him to be worse than Ebola. That’s my take, anyway.
More on Ebola in movies: Have you heard of Outbreak? This is one you should actually watch — the cast includes Dustin Hoffman, Morgan Freeman, Cuba Gooding, Jr., and Kevin Spacey…wow. Well, in this movie, a fictional version of Ebola takes hold in Zaire, and all these actors try to do something about it. Random fact: A real outbreak of Ebola struck Zaire just a few months after the movie came out.
Point is, Ebola is featured as the biggest, baddest virus out there, and with good reason (refer to symptoms listed above). The outbreak in Uganda is a serious issue, drawing local, national, an international responses. Even if the outbreak doesn’t end up affecting you directly, and of course I hope it doesn’t, keep your eyes and ears on the situation in Uganda. Because even though you could say, “it’s not affecting me,” we all can and should show compassion for those suffering from a disease that causes this much misery, and in a community that doesn’t enjoy the medical facilities that we may have.
Stay strong, Uganda.
Kinsman J (2012). “A time of fear”: local, national, and international responses to a large Ebola outbreak in Uganda. Globalization and health, 8 (1) PMID: 22695277