The Ebola epidemic is horrifying. It has people throughout the world at near panic. So, this all needs to be put into some sort of perspective. Basically, ebola is currently an epidemic ongoing in parts of West Africa, with cases now appeared in the United States as well as Spain. The outbreak began in Guinea in December 2013 then spread to Liberia and Sierra Leone. It spread later to both Senegal and Nigeria, but is now contained in those two countries and is no longer a threat. So, in ten months, around 4,000 known deaths have occurred with double that number of cases. Those are the official number; it is thought to be at least double that number. In contrast, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), various “cancers figure among the leading causes of death worldwide, accounting for 8.2 million deaths in 2012.”
Looking at Liberia alone with its population of 4.294 million, there have been 2,316 officially recorded deaths. If we double that number, we have 112 deaths per 100,000 people. About the same as the worldwide death toll from cancer. If the same number of deaths per 100,00 population in Liberia from Ebola deaths per 100,000 in the United States, 336,000 people in America would die. If we look at a world-wide pandemic of Ebola, about 7.8 million people would die. Almost the number that WHO reports die from cancer each year.
So why is ebola scary? We don’t think cancer is contagious. Cancer also doesn’t kill a person in a week, but lingers on. We’ve had cancer around for a pretty long time, and perhaps have gotten use to it. Ebola is relatively new on the scene. And we know we can catch ebola. We are as likely to develop cancer as we are to catch ebola, but ebola is a strange new disease to us (yet has been around since its discovery in 1976). Governments think it can be contained by easily applied procedures, where all that we’ve tried, we continue to have cancer.
Lord Bless, Keep, and Shine. . .