Emergency preparedness from a Counterintelligence Agent

Ebola fear grips the world – here’s why you don’t need to freak out

The world news is on fire with reports of infections and death from the Ebola virus, and victims are being brought to the US. What do you need to know?  - http://graywolfsurvival.com/?p=3685Unless you live under a rock, you have surely seen the media headlines about the outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus that has hit West Africa. Almost 1400 cases have been reported so far, with about a 55% mortality rate (Over 700 deaths so far).

You have also most likely seen that two American medical workers who have been infected with the virus have been flow to the CDC in Atlanta.

There is no vaccine nor a cure, so the only way to prevent the spread of the disease is by isolating those individuals who have been stricken. And the mortality rate is up to 90% in some areas.

Let the fear mongering (and the panic) begin!

But before you set your hair on fire and run screaming to your bunker, there are some things you need to know about Ebola.

The first, and most important, is that Ebola is a bloodborne pathogen. It is NOT airborne. (Think colds, the flu, pneumonia.) So you cannot contract it by breathing air. Ebola is contracted through contact with bodily fluids such as blood, sweat, vomit, feces, urine, saliva and semen. Other contaminants such as used medical supplies can also spread the virus. (Think HIV.)

Secondly, the virus cannot be transmitted until after the victim is sick and the symptoms have been exhibited. The virus is very aggressive and does not stay inactive for long. Symptoms begin to show after about 2 days to 2 weeks. Symptoms include the sudden onset of fever, intense weakness, muscle pain, headache and sore throat.

The longest reported time until symptoms show has been 21 days. So unlike HIV, it won’t lie dormant for months or years, significantly reducing the chances of it being unknowingly spread.

Third, a major cause for the rapid spread in West Africa is due to the lack of proper sanitation, hygiene, and medical care in that area. Ebola’s symptoms are not unique, and many times are confused for other illnesses. Without adequate medical training or supplies, it is often misdiagnosed. That coupled with poor hygiene and sanitation is grounds for Ebola’s rapid spread in Africa.

However, in the US and other developed countries where blood tests are common and readily available, a virus like this could quickly be detected. And because it does not spread easily in developed countries, it could quickly be contained.

Hopefully your fears have subsided somewhat, but you are still asking “What sort of precautions should I be taking to avoid contracting this?” Well…there are a few steps you can do to ensure you don’t get it.

First, don’t go to West Africa. The CDC has issued travel warnings for the region.

Second, avoid potential bio-hazards like bodily fluids and contaminants such as dirty hypodermic needles. (In essence, the steps you use to avoid diseases such as HIV….keep doing those.)

Third, relax. If the end of the world event is going to be a pandemic, Ebola is NOT the virus that will do it. It is simply too difficult to adequately spread in developed countries to be a significant threat to the world.

1. Winters, Lisa 2014. Health and Medicine
2. World Health Organization 2014. Ebola Virus Disease Fact Sheet

Editor’s note:

Here are some resources of further information that may be of interest to you:

Zombie Apocalypse: The Prepper’s Guide to Pandemic Outbreak, Quarantine, and Zombie Fallout (Survival Family Basics – Preppers Survival Handbook Series)
Pandemic Influenza: Emergency Planning and Community Preparedness
Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic
Ebola : The Preppers Guide to Surviving the Killer Virus – Ebola
Emerging Viruses: AIDS And Ebola : Nature, Accident or Intentional?
Army Field Manual FM 21-10 (Field Hygiene and Sanitation)
List of novels about pandemics

About James L

A police officer in Oklahoma, James is a gun enthusiast and certified police instructor. In his off time, he is a single father who enjoys playing with his kids and watching football.

Come visit his Preparedness site at Plan and Prepared


  1. I just wanted too thank you, you have given me peace of mind,I was so scared about this spreading,I was making myself sick with worry. All the other sites that I go too, give a some what different picture, I’m the only one trying too prepare in my family and it helps to be able to male the truth be honest, you have set my mind at ease, I still am preparing but now its for emergencies and other things.
    thanks you so much for given me the honest answers on this problem, and thanks for telling it like it is! Imogene

    • This would now be a good time to start learning about the real threats and the real risk mitigations that are available for biological pathogens. The more you know about how to deal with something, the less there is to worry about it. The current threat isn’t extremely high but that doesn’t mean that this, or some other threat couldn’t someday be a major problem. It’s just that the current threat doesn’t warrant the hysteria that the internet is fomenting. Just keep your eye on things and learn what you need to know, just like any other threat.

      • Absolutely right. To me, the whole point of being prepared is so that you don’t have to worry or panic. And part of being prepared isn’t just stockpiling bullets and beans as I like to say….it is also reading and studying about what is out there. I spoke about this some in http://graywolfsurvival.com/3509/beware-false-knowledge/
        Fear sells…it generates views and clicks. Unfortunately there are plenty of media outlets and websites that pander to this. But by studying and learning for yourself, you are better able to see through that tactic. Thank you for reading. 🙂

  2. TWO WORDS GrayWolf. THANL-YOU!!! 🙂


  4. Theodore Plume says

    I wish your scenario was correct but it is unfortunately misleading. You describe Ebola in the present state. But this is a virus with the makings for evolving. What worries scientists is that the potential exists for the virus to evolve from blood-borne to something else within a short amount of time. Is it possible that it could become air-borne? No reputable epidemiologist will say definitively, NO. Perhaps to avoid a public panic they might suggest that Ebola will stay blood-borne. But in their private conversations they all know that viruses can and have evolved. They also know that other pathogens can link and create whole new diseases. And this is the very real potential of something like Ebola and a host of other extremely lethal diseases some of which are much closer to the USA than Africa.

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