Think About It: Ebola Wake-Up Call - KFVE, K5-Hawaii News Now, Local Programming

October 6, 2014

Think About It: Ebola Wake-Up Call

Last week's non-Ebola case in Hawaii provided an excellent reminder and drill to help the medical community and public health officials make sure that Hawaii is prepared for the day when something or somebody does get through and pose an immunological threat to our state. It is also a reminder that a serious pandemic issue in Africa can have repercussions worldwide, including Hawaii, given the wrong domino effect of people transmitting disease to other people.

One issue with the Ebola virus is that the actual symptoms can take weeks after exposure to become problematic. Unlike the flu and other more visible bugs, Ebola is harder to transmit and detect simply at first, but it is also more deadly when contracted. So when state officials suggest that Ebola is not a high risk problem in Hawaii, the probability tables undoubtedly indicate that there is no need to panic here, but that we should over-prepare and stay ahead of this outbreak or the next one that is bound to pop up.

And as we enter flu season, it is also a reminder for people to get a flu shot. Almost every year brings a different variation of the flu, and people should not become complacent. And remember, by getting the flu shot, you will certainly be mitigating its symptoms if you should be infected by someone else, and you will also be less likely to spread the virus to others. The Center for Disease Control says that 90% of flu deaths occur in persons 65 years and older, so make sure to talk to your parents, grandparents, and elders in general about getting vaccinated soon. Ebola is surely not the issue here, but helping to minimize a local flu outbreak via a readily-available vaccine can go a long way to help keep Hawaii safe from a major, annual health concern in the short term, like right now. Think about it…

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