The threat of Ebola has recently become one of the major concerns for many American medical workers and public administrators who want to eliminate even the minor risk of epidemic outbreak in the country. The instances of this disease have already been registered in the United States and this issue is widely discussed in various news reports.
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One should note that these events have increased the concerns of many people who want to safeguard themselves against possible risks. On the whole, this case demonstrates that a healthcare problem can have profound implications for society and political life of the country.
In particular, the threat of Ebola has significantly increased people’s sense of insecurity. To some extent, this situation can be explained by the influence of mass media because journalists can profoundly shape the views of many people. Additionally, this risk has prompted governmental officials to consider restricting travel to and from countries which are badly affected by Ebola. So, this issue has affected the decisions of policy-makers.
On the whole, this issue has highlighted the need for cooperation between healthcare professionals and public administrators because these professionals have sufficient knowledge and expertise to address this problem. Moreover, this case illustrates the role of mass media that can shape the opinions of many people; yet, their influence may not be always beneficial. These are the main questions that should be discussed in greater detail.
It should be mentioned that in the early nineties, Ebola has been described as one of the major health risk, especially in the world that was becoming more and more globalized (Leach 488). There were many films that highlighted the dangers of this virus. For instance, it is possible to mention such works as The coming Plague and The Hot Zone (Leach 488).
One should keep in mind that the risks of Ebola did not attract much attention of people living in advanced countries because it could be observed primarily in African countries (Leach 488). Nevertheless, the situation changed dramatically, especially at the time when a patient infected with this virus came to the United States. Similar cases were registered in European countries as well. This is one of the reasons why this topic has attracted the attention of various stakeholders.
Thus, at the beginning, this problem only affected West African countries. However, it later became clear that even the United States cannot safeguard itself against the risks of this contagious disease. It should be mentioned that several years ago, Ebola was perceived mostly as a “local disease” (Leach 488). However, this situation has changed dramatically over the last two months.
Therefore, it is possible to argue that various diseases continue to have significant social implications that should not be disregarded by various stakeholders. One should also mention that some American policy-makers intend to impose bans on travel from countries such as Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Nigeria (U.S. Passports & International Travel). Thus, this issue has changed the relations between the United States and other countries. Thus, social and political impacts of Ebola cannot be disregarded by public administrators.
One should also point out that such events normally attract more attention of the mass media, even though there are more serious healthcare concerns such as malaria. Moreover, in many cases, journalists prefer to overlook the idea that the symptoms of Ebola can also be attributed to other diseases because this interpretation may not be of great interest to the public (Bergstrom 140).
Thus, reporters should remember about the impacts of their activities on the society, especially people’s behaviors. One should keep in mind that panic can often lead to hostility or even violence (Bergstrom 140). Certainly, journalists should help people make informed decisions; nevertheless, they should make sure that they do not mislead the audience into panic that can become even a greater threat to many people. This is one of the points that can be made.
Currently, medical workers want to make sure that people affected by this disease are identified as quickly as possible. Their main task is to limit the spread of this disease in the country (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). In turn, this task can become particularly challenging in a very urbanized country such as the United States.
In particular, one should isolate each of the patients before he/she can contract a great number of people. If this goal is not achieved, the disease can spread at a very rapid rate. However, healthcare professional argue that this disease can be effectively localized (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). Additionally, medical workers suggest that American citizens should refrain from travelling to West Africa.
One of the main threats is that in these countries, a person cannot always gain access to efficient medical assistance. As a rule, such individuals are at a greater risk of acquiring this disease that can be very deadly. In particular, they should bear in mind that currently there is no effective cure for Ebola (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). These are the main details that can be distinguished because they are important for understanding the impact of Ebola on people living in the United States.
This threat has not affected me directly; nevertheless, I am familiar with people who seem to be too much concerned about Ebola. In particular, they tend to believe that practically every form of ailment such as high temperature or headache can be attributes to Ebola. It seems that me that such behavior is not always rational because there are greater threats than Ebola.
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For instance, it is possible to mention the risk of cardiovascular diseases or diabetes that may also cause many deaths in the United States as well as other countries. Nevertheless, people seem to be less concerned about these issues. This is one of the points that can be distinguished because it can throw light on the irrationality of group behavior which is not necessarily based on logic and empirical evidence (Bergstrom 140).
Certainly, a person cannot remain indifferent of this issue, but one should not become obsessed with it. In turn, healthcare professionals also state that the fears of Ebola must not prevent medical workers from addressing other important problems such as HIV, malaria, tuberculosis, and other contagious diseases (Leach 489).
Thus, it is important to use resources very efficiently because this efficiency is vital for protecting public health. Moreover, researchers argue that the risks of panic can also be rather dangerous (Bergstrom 140). In some cases, this panic can result in the discrimination against people who may come from African countries (Bergstrom 140).
In the past, this behavior was observed in other countries, for instance, one can mention Canada where many African immigrants could face discrimination (Bergstrom 140). This is one of the pitfalls that should be avoided because it can result in many violent conflicts.
Overall, Ebola has highlighted the dangers of the modern health issues. The problem is that modern countries no longer seem to be isolated from one another. Due to the economic cooperation between countries, various contagious diseases can easily cross boundaries. This is one of the challenges that should not be overlooked. This is why it is important to provide necessary resources to people who struggle against such diseases.
These healthcare professionals are able to protect various stakeholders who may be living in different countries. Currently, they need to develop and implement procedures that reduce the threat of the epidemic outbreak. For instance, one can speak about EVD (Ebola Virus Disease) screening that can identify people who have acquired this disease (U.S. Passports & International Travel). This is one of the details that can be identified.
On the whole, this discussion indicates that the threats of epidemic can profoundly influence the experiences of many people. This situation can be partly explained by the fact that the threats of Ebola were widely publicized in mass media. The threats of Ebola can be effectively addresses provided that that medical workers use the necessary safety procedures in order to detect the cases of this disease at an early stage.
To a great extent, these professionals are also responsible for curbing panic and fears. This is one of the tasks that these people should perform to minimize the risk of various hostilities. Apart from that, the threats of Ebola have influenced the political and social life of the country. In particular, it increased people’s sense of insecurity and shaped the decisions of policy-makers. These are the main arguments that can be put forward.
Bergstrom, Kelly. “Deadly fever: Racism, disease and a media panic.” Canadian Journal of Communication, 38.1 (2013): 139-140. ProQuest.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Questions and Answers on Ebola.” CDC. 2014.
Leach, Melissa. “Time to Put Ebola in Context.” World Health Organization.Bulletin of the World Health Organization 88.7 (2010): 488-489. ProQuest.
U.S. Passports & International Travel. “Ebola Fact Sheet for Travelers.” USPIT. 2014.