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Mark Pendergrast: Stop panicking about Ebola

Vt Digger - - 9:05 am Mon Nov 10th, 2014

Editor's note: This commentary is by Mark Pendergrast, who is the author of "Inside the Outbreaks: The Elite Medical Detectives of the Epidemic Intelligence Service." This piece first appeared in the Times Argus. He lives in Colchester and can be reached through his website,

There is no question that Ebola is a terrifying disease. In 1976, in the first recognized human outbreak that originated in a small Catholic hospital in rural Yambuku, Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of Congo), its mortality rate was 88 percent. In other words, the virus killed nearly everyone it affected, and it sometimes did so in the most gruesome way, with some patients "bleeding out" because of the hemorrhagic fever.

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