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.


  • Kenneth Mulderig

    In Africa 2 million have died from malaria, 250 thousand dead from Liberia’s civil war which decimated the small nation.. Less the 2000 dead Ebola and we subjected to super-hype! The author identifies the over hype but fails to question why. One night at the supermarket only the self checkout was working and no traditional checkouts were working. Understandable at 3am during re-stocking. Also a great way to limit contagion during commerce, more perfect if I paid via smartphone, and useless if I only had cash. From Frank Herbert’s Dune series “Control the courts and the coinage, leave the rabble to the rest”.