Pretty slim, tbh.
Ebola is a, iirc, a filoviridae. They’re not actually all that hardy, and don’t tend to survive long outside the host. That’s why they’re primarily spread through contact with the infected individual.
While they’re classified as a Cat4 biohazard pathogen, and they’re certainly scary as shitballs, they’re not actually as likely to cause a pandemic as something much LESS virulent.
And that’s the good thing about Ebola. It’s SO virulent that it tends to kill the host before it can spread the disease further. Additionally, aerosol transmission HAS NOT been observed in natural Ebola outbreaks, and transmission is through bodily fluids. Needle sticks and blood-to-wound contact are the most common forms of transmission.
The later symptoms are pretty recognizable, including such subtle things as haemorrhaging and seizures. Earlier symptoms are flu-like, but tend to progress fairly quickly to a terminal stage. Trust me, every doctor and nurse and medical professional on the planet is boning up on their symptomology right now, so they’ll all be taking some extra precautions to isolate anyone with even the insinuation of those symptoms. I wouldn’t be surprised if travellers from those areas were put under quarantine, as well.
Ultimately, while someone with Ebola could conceivably hop a plane to NYC, the likelihood of that is so vanishingly rare (because lets face it, the people from Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia who are catching this thing are generally not in a position to hop a plane due to access and prohibitive cost) that I really wouldn’t worry about it.
It’s a humanitarian disaster, without a doubt, but it’s extremely unlikely to affect anyone who isn’t in the immediate area.
The worst case scenario is if anyone who HAD been infected then tried to emigrate (or migrate illegally) through detainment camps like Lampadouza in Italy, or through Spain.
That could get ugly but again, because transmission requires body fluids, it’s not terribly likely.
We should be more concerned, in my humble layman’s opinion, about things like cholera and dysentery in Gaza, because that has the potential to get very bad, very very fast (because that’s transmitted through the water and through faeces and with the targeting of sewage treatment facilities, that can become a real risk).
Ultimately, unless this thing decides to mutate into an aerosol transmission, it’s likely to do what all the other outbreaks did. Kill a bunch of people in a rural area of equatorial Africa, make life thoroughly miserable for the rest of the population, scare the shit out of the rest of us, and then retreat back into wherever it is that it hides when it isn’t reminding us that humans aren’t actually masters of our planet.
Miserable, and deadly, but it’s not the end of the world as we know it. When reading these media accounts, remember the maxim: “if it bleeds, it leads”, and Ebola bleeds an awful lot.
God, yes. THANK YOU, TABI. It’s a sensational disease, and a frightening one, both for good reason. It is not, however, as truly scary on a global level as something like (just pulling out an example here) the 1918 flu. That was virulently contagious and worked by turning the healthy immune system against its bearer until said bearer coughed their lungs to pieces.