Why People in America Almost Certainly Won’t Get Ebola

The Ebola outbreak in Africa certainly is frightening, and it’s a horrible tragedy for those affected. However, people in America are at very low risk of contracting the disease, according to doctors quoted by Lenny Bernstein in his Washington Post story. The difference is basically that Americans have better health practices and better health careā€”one of the many benefits of living in a wealthier nation. For example, Bernstein notes, some people in Africa “bury their own dead family members or friends” who have Ebola. Amesh Adalja of the Infectious Disease Society of America points out that Americans are more likely (although still very unlikely) to contract other infectious diseases, such as Lassa fever and bird flu, Bernstein reports. (Hat tip to Paul Hsieh.)