Yes, Ebola has close to a 50% death rate; and yes that death is a very ugly, very bloody one. But the first appearance of a case in the United States does not mean we’re headed for an epidemic anything like the one that is causing so much suffering in West Africa.
The disease is not easy to catch and incubates for a relatively short time—which means that no one spends months or years as a symptom-free carrier. And proper isolation facilities in modern hospitals mean that if a person does fall ill here, the virus can be contained. But none of that is what you’ll hear from the fear mongers, who warn that a plague is among us and we must seal our borders to save ourselves from doom.
A Science Cop tells you what you need to know.