Ebola starts with a fever and aches and pains, sort of like the flu. Then comes vomiting and diarrhea. Then comes a red rash. If the disease progresses, the whites of your eyes turn red. You start to hemorrhage internally. Then you start bleeding from your eyes, your ears, your mouth, and every other orifice. Then you die.
Ebola is uncommonly grisly and horrifying, but it starts like the flu. And just as detecting its symptoms is especially critical in dealing with the disease and stopping its spread, ordinary flu season is upon us, making the task even more difficult. Screening measures may confuse flu with Ebola, and people with the flu will panic, thinking they might have Ebola. (Then again, experts are saying that more people will die from flu than Ebola.)
A friend of mine, a nurse, was at our local hospital and saw a horde descend in hazmat suits. Sure enough, we have a possible Ebola case. Or maybe it’s the flu.