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    Ebola: Are We at Risk of an Outbreak?

    As Ebola has claimed more than a thousand lives in its ongoing West African outbreak, people in the United States and elsewhere around the world can't help asking a single question: "Are we at risk?" Although Ebola may be the most frightening of all known diseases, the hemorrhagic illness is also among the least contagious when proper precautions are taken. Learning more about the myths and facts of Ebola may help put your mind at ease when considering an outbreak here at home.

    5 Active Myths | Suggest a Myth
    MYTH: A treatment for Ebola has been developed in the United States.

    Although an experimental drug was recently given to Americans who recovered from Ebola, there's not enough evidence to conclude whether that medication was responsible for their recoveries. Several Ebola treatments are currently being studied, but none can be conclusively called a treatment.

    MYTH: Ebola is one of the deadliest known diseases.

    Although the death rate for Ebola has gone down, the fatality rate of the ongoing West African outbreak is hovering around 60 percent. In past outbreaks, the death rate has been above 90 percent.

    MYTH: Hospitals in the United States are not equipped to deal with Ebola.

    There are numerous healthcare facilities in cities throughout the nation that are equipped to deal with patients who have deadly and contagious illnesses. The Ebola virus is dangerous, but it doesn't spread easily. Hospitals that follow protocol can safely care for patients without putting others at risk.

    MYTH: You can't get Ebola from eating or drinking.

    Ebola isn't a food-borne illness. You can't get it from eating or drinking.

    MYTH: If Ebola reaches the United States, we're all at risk of infection.

    Although Ebola is very dangerous, it's thankfully one of the least contagious illnesses of all the most commonly feared diseases. Patients are only contagious while showing symptoms, and the virus can only be passed through direct contact with bodily fluids. In other words, you could share a cab with someone infected by Ebola and most likely not be infected.