Post 541: You may want to be seated when I tell you…!

I hate to be the one to tell you, but you will die, if not today, sometime in future. The only thing I can’t tell you is “how”.  You may wonder why I bother to tell you the obvious, so I note that there is mild hysteria concerning Ebola, and I want you to know chances are slim to zilch you will die from this rare African disease.

On the other hand, there are genuine threats to your mortality, as shown in this National Safety Council graph. (The Heart disease and cancer box is not proportional to the rest because of space limitations. The others are proportional to risk.)

From National Safety Council, odds for dying by any cause, USA.

From National Safety Council, odds for dying by any cause, USA.

See Ebola on the chart? No? Of course not! Can you get Ebola? Sure, if you are exposed to someone in the infectious stages of the disease (after the fever and other symptoms come on), which currently involves very few people in the United States of America. Of those, some worked with Ebola patients as medical personnel, and others had direct contact with the blood, vomit, maybe diarrhea of the sick.

Presumably, the medical personnel had accidental contact with body fluids, and the other Ebola patients had contact with the disease by handling the sick or dead without appropriate infection control garments.

Prognosis for Ebola patient recovery: Good, given the state of medical care in the USA, unlike West Africa, where the disease overwhelmed available medical resources.

Chances are, you will never see an Ebola-infected person in your community if you live in the USA or other countries with developed medical resources. Your best defense, in fact, may be to shut off Fox News, ignore CNN, and forget about turning on MSNBC. All their scare stories about Ebola coming to America are going to kill you before Ebola does! Relax. You will die one day, but chances are it will be something other than Ebola.