Tupelo station WTVA decided to cover the Ebola epidemic in West Africa by wondering if it could happen here. Of course, since Ebola is only transmitted by direct contact with an infected person’s blood, urine, and feces, the risk of an American outbreak is extremely low.
The reason Ebola excites so much interest is that it’s such a nasty way to go: hemorrhagic fever, in which much of the human body is turned into liquid ooze that seeps from the tiniest openings in your skin, is one of the most grisly deaths imaginable.
But humans generally get the virus by eating African bushmeat, and there are not a lot of gorillas or chimps running around Jackson. In Africa, the virus spreads to families through traditional burial practices that include washing the body — and while there are folks in Mississippi who still sit up with the dead, DIY morticians are quite illegal, so the chances of an Ebola outbreak in the magnolia state are just about zero.