Name: Nathan W Brandsma
What are the chances that a diseases, like in the movie outbreak, could occur?
The movie Outbreak is about a disease caused by a virus. Many diseases
are actually caused by viruses (AIDS, chicken pox, colds, etc). Most viral diseases
can only be prevented (by getting vaccinated), but can't be
cured; though we can often reduce the symptoms (like anti-itch cream
for chicken pox, or cough drops for a cold). Viral diseases are usually
spread from one person to another. What people sometimes worry about is
a new virus that is deadly but can be spread really easily (like
through the air or by touch). Since there are so many people in the world
today, this virus could travel all over the place going from person to
Nobody knows what the chances are that a virus like that will turn up.
Fortunately, there are a number of organizations that keep a close
watch on infectious diseases, and have lots of doctors who specialize in
containing "outbreaks." So it is something to think about, but I wouldn't
stay up at night worrying about it!
Well, since your original question, if you've been watching the
news reports about Ebola virus, I'd say chances are pretty good.
Tom F Ihde
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Update: June 2012