The Paranoid Hypochondriac's Guide to Ebola

The Internet has lit up with news of a burgeoning Ebola virus outbreak in western Africa and the few cases that have trickled through to the United States.

This weekend, TV helicopters beat the air above the ambulance of a US doctor stricken with Ebola and transferred to Emory's high tech containment center for care. Viewers worldwide surely struggled to figure out how this was interesting, and why they were suddenly thinking about OJ Simpson.

Was this the beginning of the end? We'd all seen Gwenyth expire in Contagion so were we next?

Fortunately card-carrying epidemiologists have come to the rescue not with wonder drugs or martial law, but with the facts of the situation: this is a small epidemic largely confined to the developing world and unlikely to be a big deal in the US. It is, however, another reminder that the public health infrastructure in Africa has been neglected. They tried valiantly to placate, to reassure, and to divert the public's fickle attention back to the scarier infectious epidemics that afflict millions every year.

Amid the hubbub, I was proud to be quoted in Erin Gloria Ryan's new Jezebel piece, "The Paranoid Hypochondriac's Guide to the Ebola Outbreak." Should I be worried that the other folks quoted in the article chose to remain anonymous? Heck no! I'm going to go enjoy my ten seconds of fame, knowing full well the firestorm of corrections and trolling will begin soon. Ten. Nine. Eight...

Posted on August 4, 2014 .