Xinhua, China’s official news agency, published an article that aims to crush “internet rumors” about the virus that has killed more thousands of people worldwide. The problem is, the report starts off interesting, stating, “Xinhua promises readers that, contrary to chatter on the internet, Ebola is not a “zombie disease.” But the agency’s attempt to allay readers’ fears of reanimation actually isn’t particularly reassuring.”
Why isn’t it reassuring? Well, the next paragraph pretty much sums it up: “An Ebola sufferer may lose consciousness or faint, making him or her appear dead,” Xinhua explains. “But a few hours or even days later the patient may suddenly come to and enter an extremely violent state, tearing at and biting anything that moves, including people and animals.”
Excuse me? With so much conflicting information about this strand of Ebola, the confusion clearly does not only lie with the general population, but also within the scientific and global government communities. The report affirms, “This suggestion is itself highly suspect. Violent episodes could conceivably happen as the result of an extreme hallucinogenic fever brought on by Ebola, but Quartz hasn’t been able to find any reports of the phenomenon described in Xinhua. Most of the violence related to the Ebola outbreak so far has been the work of uninfected locals who have attacked international health organizations they think are responsible for bringing the disease to them.”
In an even less reassuring article published by The Washington Post, entitled, “Apocalypse now? Some reassuring facts from the congressional subcommittee hearing on Ebola” about the government hearings on the deadly Ebola virus, author says, “So, in a word, it was about as reassuring as you would hope. ‘I don’t mean to be dramatic, but it has an atmosphere of ‘Apocalypse Now’ in it,’ said Isaacs, of the situation in Liberia.
Ebola is out of control in West Africa and we are starting to see panic now, around the world,” Isaacs went on. “I don’t know about you folks, I look at the Drudge Report, they drive a lot of panic. There’s a guy in New York. There’s a woman in England. There’s six people have been tested in the United States. There are reports that there are 340 Peace Corps workers coming back.
Do not panic and freak out. People at high levels are panicking and freaking out on your behalf.”
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