It's sad to hear that another healthcare worker (returned from Africa to the UK) is deteriorating in hospital as I write this. Despite the scare, let me assure you – although that’s probably not the right word – that there are things to worry about more than Ebola. Despite the very high profile reporting of the deadly disease, at this time, it is currently confined to a few African countries, and you are more likely to be struck and killed by lightning than to contract Ebola. Unless you’re in one of those countries, here are some of the things to worry about more than Ebola.
1. The Flu (Influenza)
The everyday flu is one of the things to worry about more than Ebola as it is something that can bring you down and leave you feeling terrible for days. This illness can actually be fatal for some people with pre-existing illnesses too. It is recorded that between 5 and 20 percent of Americans will be left with cold sweats and be diagnosed with illness this flu season. Each year there are 200,000 hospitalizations and up to 49,000 deaths due to the common flu. Make sure you keep your hand sanitizer on you at all times and have the vaccination to help you to avoid catching it.
According to The National Institutes of Health, each year there are 2,600 Americans who get viral or bacterial meningitis. Meningitis can cause lifelong problems, such as deafness and can even lead to amputations. One in every 116,000 people will become infected and 15 percent of all meningitis cases will be fatal.
3. Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA)
You’ve probably heard of MRSA in the news as the original vaccines and treatments for it are no longer working. The skin and tissue eating bug lives is carried on the skin or in the nose of 2 in every 100 people and 75,000 people get the illness each year. MRSA is among the things to worry about more than Ebola because it has a high risk of infection with one in every 4,000 people contracting it each year.
4. Human Papillomavirus (HPV)
HPV is something that pretty much every sexually active man and woman will contract at some point in their lives - that’s a pretty scary thought. In most cases it clears up on its own, however in some cases it can lead to cervical cancer and genital warts. Cervical cancer can be fatal with over 4,000 women dying each year of the disease.
Did you know that botulism is a rare form of food-borne illness? The illness can occur when food is contaminated with soil that is infected with bacteria. If food is not preserved, cooked or canned properly any C.botulinum bacteria can produce toxins that can lead to paralysis and even death. Over 12 years it was reported that there were 116 cases in America, making this one of the things to worry about more than Ebola as it carries a higher risk.
In early 2014 there were 580 reported cases of measles due to people turning down the MMR vaccine. On average there are roughly 1,160 cases of measles each year and an infection risk of one in every 258,600. The illness is transmitted by tiny droplets when someone with the virus coughs, sneezes or even breathes. The airborne virus is very contagious; if someone in your house has it, you’ll be very unlikely to escape contracting the illness yourself.
In the 70s and 80s HIV and AIDS was in the newspaper headlines, with the illness just being discovered and no known cure, many sufferers were not expected to live very long. Today there are more quality treatments and people with HIV and AIDS can continue to lead a normal and healthy life. However, we cannot forget the illness is a painful and deadly one. It is estimated that 50 thousand Americans will get HIV/AIDS each year; that is around one in every 6,000 people making it one of the things to worry about more than Ebola. Make sure that you practice safe sex and you will reduce the risk of contracting the virus.
Are you a worry wart when it comes to diseases and bugs? Are you concerned about any of the above?