Ebola is much more lethal if you’re a dog.

As a start, I need to put it out there that I’m not trying to down play the severity of this lethal disease.  Lethal by definition, as it has a 90% strike rate, like a kamikaze pilot.  I have a lot of sympathy for the families who are grieving for their passed brethren.  But let’s get some perspective, shall we.

The colour purple has a very different meaning here.

The colour purple has a very different meaning here.

964 people has lost their lives to the disease.  There are in excess of 7 billion people on earth, which looks like 7,182,000,000,000 in numbers.  Considering that there was 219,000,000 cases of Malaria reported in 2010 of which approximately 1,200,000 resulted in deaths, maybe the WHO is losing the plot a little.  And Malaria HAS a cure.

My post is based on the fact that I’m travelling to West Africa next week, more specifically Ghana and Senegal.  For West Africa, is unlike South Africa, not a country but a whole region.  Everyone and anyone who has an opinion about my well being are deeply concerned with the fact that I might contract this fatal disease.  And I really appreciate the concern.  I’m just trying not to be a wise-ass but a rational voice in the midst of somewhat irrational panic.  In preparation for my visit a colleague has sent me an International guide as to how to avoid catching this fatal flu.

The disease has a few early symptoms which include fever, tiredness, headaches and diarrhoea.  Very much like the symptoms a teenage boy would have when he considers asking a girl out on his first date.  Except maybe the diarrhoea, but including excessive perspiration.

Later symptoms are much more severe and they include vomiting (which might contain blood), diarrheoa (which might contain blood), coughing (which may contain blood) and severe nose bleeds.  (As quoted from pamphlet.)   These symptoms are nothing like the symptoms experienced by a teenage boy when he asks a girl on a first date.  Except for the nose bleed if the specific girl already has a boyfriend.

As I’ve mentioned, unlike Malaria, there is no known cure, except for the one the American’s have.  Unfortunately you only have a 10% chance of seeing the next series of Game of Thrones, once you get infected with this bug on crack.  Not the best odds, I must admit.

Fortunately there are a few cardinal rules one can follow and avoid catching the disease.

1. Do NOT touch the vomit, urine, blood or feaces of an infected person.  Which is devastating news, as I normally do this kind of thing.  If I therefore stop dealing with other people’s shit I should be fine.  Got it.

2. Do NOT touch, kiss or wash dead bodies, especially those whom might have been infected.  This is also a major disappointment as I’ve always wanted to touch a dead person.

3. Wash your hands often with soap.  Again this is a revelation.  Before I read this, I never knew people actually had to use soap to wash their hands.  I assumed most people just placed their hands under running water and then dry it afterwards.  At least now I know why they have that weird dispenser in public restrooms.

4. Do NOT eat Bats or Chimpanzees.  This implies I’ll have to skip any KFC outlet for anything can be crumbed.  Sometimes it’s just better to settle for a salad,  unless you’re in India.

5. If you DO get sick, call a doctor and avoid any human contact.  Again we need to thank the World Health Organization for informing us about the solution of contacting a medical practitioner if you don’t feel well.  And here I thought doctors was just there to take my money and let me sit for three hours in a waiting room.  How dumb am I?

6. And do NOT Google images of Ebola, for you’ll be sick for very different reasons.  (And probably wouldn’t consider this post to be funny at all.)

I’m going to follow these instructions very closely, even if it means I’ll have to remove #1,2 and 4 from my bucket list.

But seeing that I’m not a dog, meaning I don’t go around sniffing other people’s asses, I can’t lick my own balls, I don’t dig around for bones and I don’t even eat my OWN vomit, I think I should be fine.

I’ll promise to be careful, besides there’s no way I’m missing the next series of GoT and my doctor confirms that my chances at winning the Lotto is far greater than me being on the news for catching Ebola.

PS – I’ve added a link about the disease.

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19 thoughts on “Ebola is much more lethal if you’re a dog.

  1. I lived and worked in Asia during the SARS epidemic and that was a lot easier to catch (respiratory droplets), considering the fact that I worked in the hospital which were accepting all the cases. It is true that out of fear, people become irrational, but it’s never a bad thing to be too careful. The problem is not what you do but what everyone else does. Let me put it in perspective for you. The bus/plane/train seat that you will be sitting in may have been one that some local person, who had just buried his mother with Ebola last week and kissed her before the body was buried. He is infected but only suffers from mild symptoms. And as he is going on his first date, he attributes his nervousness to that and doesn’t realise he’s infected. He doesn’t wash his hands and had just been to the toilet with yet another loose bowel motion. He hands touch every aspect of the chair, leaving bits of fecal fluid on the armrest. Ebola is resistant and survives outside bodies for very long periods. You come and sit in that seat couple of hours later. Your clean washed hands touch the arm rests and scooped up the fecal fluid with Ebola. You scratch the corner of your mouth or eat a sandwich with your hands. You now have 10% chance of seeing the next episode of GoT. It is really that simple. But then, it is also simple to avoid inadvertently carrying the virus on your hands. Do they have those little bottles of alcohol disinfectants? If you wash your hands with those every time before you eat or touch your mouth, you will be right for the rest of the GoT season. (Sorry, I couldn’t help myself, but just please humour my caring side….) Safe Travels.

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    • I saw you liking the post and then sat transfixed waiting on the comment…I obviously respect any medical opinion in this regard.

      I will NOT be showing this comment to the Wife…And I’m getting me one of those little alcohol disinfectant bottle-thingies as we speak…

      I sincerely appreciate your comment and caring nature…

      I think I’m just trying to manage my own stress and concern with humour and sarcasm.

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      • Agreed, if you showed the wife, she might actually tie you down on the day you are supposed to leave. No need to freak out, those alcohol hand washes have been shown to be the most effective way to stop disease transmission. Oh, also forgot to add, don’t eat anything that has been handled by hand, like bowls of nuts at the bar or unwrapped lollies in a jar. Ok, Lecture is over. It’s a good thing you are stressed, it means you will be careful. But I know You’ll be fine 😀

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  2. People over here in the US are freaking out about the two cases brought here by the CDC, so I wondered if people on the African continent were as worried that the end of the world is just a sneeze away. It sounds like you have the right perspective. I am already a germaphobe so every illness scares me; I’m not exclusive that way. Have a great trip, but realize if you did get Ebola you would have some interesting blog material.

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  3. Pingback: Happy Left-handers day! | Ah dad...

    • My chimpanzee mistress left me, she claims that I’m not visiting her enough and besides her dad didn’t take this inter-specie frolicking thing very well.

      As for not licking dead bodies, I’ll try.

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