Is Ebola Our Biggest Threat?

Last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that the first case of Ebola had been diagnosed in the United States. While the disease is spreading rapidly in several undeveloped African nations, it does not pose the same threat in our nation. In fact, there are much bigger threats to public health.

Despite all its faults, our healthcare system is strong enough to stop the spread of Ebola, and the scary disease doesn't pass from person to person as easily as many other illnesses. To put this health scare in perspective, we must remember that even in third world nations, only a few thousand people have become sick.

At the same time, every year in the United States, hundreds of thousands of Americans die of cancer, diabetes, and heart disease – yet, the public isn't in a panic over those conditions. A new article in the British Medical Journal says that climate change is actually a much larger threat to our species than Ebola, yet we can't even get lawmakers here in the states to agree that global warming is real.

The scare tactics over the Ebola case are nothing more than fear-mongering. We could use this discussion as an opportunity to strengthen our healthcare system, or to point how thousands more people die from shootings in our nation ever year. There may be more people diagnosed with Ebola in our nation, and we should be doing everything we can to stop the disease from spreading. However, let's not lose focus on the many other real threats that we face.

Ebola is scary, but it's not a reason to panic – it's a reason to remember that we've got much bigger threats when it comes to saving our species.

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