Ebola Outbreak: Managing Our Fears

Managing fear and anxiety at home in the shadow of the Ebola epidemic abroad can be a daunting task for some. Many people in the U.S. live with compromised immune systems and fear contagious diseases which can be devastating and possibly fatal. This recent Washington Times article may explain some of the reasons why fear among people in the U.S. can run so high.

Media can insinuate fear into our hearts without any warning. When this takes us by surprise, we can react by feeling frightened before we gather appropriate information and calculate our risk. But how do we know the difference between what might be a real risk to ourselves and families and what might be hype to try and sell newspapers?

If you have serious concerns about the current epidemic of Ebola in parts of Africa and fear becoming infected, please gather more information and consider asking for help. Talk with a trusted loved one about your concerns and/or consult a trusted, healthcare provider or therapist. Knowing reliable information is the best way to manage your fears and remain calm.

For more information, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention updates their website regularly and has a phone number where they answer calls. The CDC phone number provides an educator who can answer any questions that you might have from 8 AM – 8 PM, EST.  The phone number is 1.800.CDC.INFO or 1.800.232.4636.  Also, the World Health Organization has a place on their website entitled DONs (Disease Outbreak News) and works closely with the CDC.

If you have any concerns about your health and the risk of contagious diseases like Ebola, please do not carry this burden alone. Gather information to become educated. And lean on trusted resources for assistance.