An update from my last blog – my test results came back negative for Lyme disease. I’ll have to go back in six weeks to get retested. From what I’ve read on the internet and heard from friends, much of the time the first test is negative because there aren’t enough antibodies built up yet in the body. Six weeks later, however, the results could be different. In the meantime, I still have to deal with this fever and what I’m calling “spontaneous sweating.” Ugh, not enjoyable one bit!
Things could be much worse, though. There’s a lot of talk in the news right now about the Ebola epidemic in West Africa that has killed more than 670 people, including a few health care workers who were assisting infected patients. With a more than 60 percent fatality rate and horrible symptoms, Ebola is a virus we certainly want to keep out of the U.S. Thankfully it cannot spread through the air like the common cold. You must come into contact with infected bodily fluid. So the chances of it spreading from West Africa to other continents, and then reaching epidemic proportions there, isn’t very likely, especially because of the sanitary conditions here.
This is yet another reason to be thankful that we live in a country that doesn’t have to deal with many of the world’s worst afflictions, like malaria. Our environmental regulations, health and sanitation systems, and generally higher standards of living mean that we do not have to face many of the dangers those in developing countries do face. Hopefully as time goes on, and as these countries continue to improve their infrastructure and regulations, we will see fewer occurrences of these maladies. Until then though, my dream trip to Africa is looking less and less dream-like and more like risky business.