Although the United States may as well be declared Ebola-free, there is still a lingering fear in some minds that an outbreak is in the near future.
And if you live in West Africa, the fear is justified. The epidemic is ongoing and there is a higher chance of transmission.
The last patient in the United States being treated for Ebola has now been released, so there are currently no known cases in the U.S., according to WSB Radio.
However, for people who are still concerned about a potential outbreak of Ebola or another disease, experts have some points to consider.
Psychologist Samantha Madhosingh said in an email that fear of anything, including a viral outbreak, can lead to stress and distress, and sometimes it can be a trigger for extreme anxiety.
“As human beings, we often have a tendency to catastrophize situations,” she said. “That means looking for the next terrible thing to happen or imagining the very worst possibility.”
Fear just further increases the daily stress people already have.
Here are Madhosingh’s tips for staying calm during a potential Ebola epidemic in the United States :
1) “The best way to remain calm about a potential outbreak is to keep things in perspective.”
2) “It is also important to have current, accurate information, but not [be] drawn into mass hysteria. Be clear about how Ebola is spread and how it isn't. The virus is only transmitted through contact with an infected person's blood or other bodily secretions. So breathing the same air as someone or passing them on the street is unlikely to cause infection.”
3) “Armed with accurate information, you can take proper precautions to secure your own health without becoming overly anxious.”
4) “Sometimes over-watching news media can cause a problem. Yes, you want to have the most up-to-date information. However, watching the same piece of information over and over again can trick your brain into thinking the situation is much worse than it is and lead to anxiety.”
5) “Focusing on the reality of the situation in the present may help to alleviate fears about a future that may never occur.”