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Ebola! What really are your odds of getting it?

Dear Patients,

Happy Fall and Happy Halloween!!! It’s getting cold and rainy again. It’s time to bring out the warm clothes. I played a mean trick on my youngest son, Aedan. While shopping at Fred Myer I picked up a giant stuffed spider and teased him with it. The sheer look of fear in his face was priceless. Instead of telling me to stop, my wife kept on encouraging me to continue so she could take a good picture. I think I traumatized my kid.

So what is your biggest fear? I know what has most people spooked this year. EBOLA!! How can we not be with all the media coverage of this disease?

What do you think our chances are of contracting Ebola is in the US? Well, I looked up some odds:

  • Your chance of catching Ebola in the US is 1 in 13.3 million.
  • Your chance of dying in a plane crash is 1 in 11 million
  • Your chance of winning the Washington State Lotto is 1 in 7 million.
  • Your chance of dying from the flu is 1 in 100,000.

Wait, you mean my chance of dying at age 45 from flu vs. Ebola is 133 to 1? Those are some crazy odds, but no one is talking about getting a flu shot – which we already have – and yet demand why we don’t have an Ebola vaccine yet.

If you could choose only one vaccine – Influenza or Ebola – which one would you choose? If you are smart and look at the odds, you should have picked Influenza. If you are driven by fear and the media, you probably picked Ebola. Don’t get me wrong. I fear Ebola and we should do everything we can to prevent this from being a pandemic. Since we do not have a cure, we should do everything we can to stay healthy.

The best way to beat any virus is to boost your immune system, get a good night’s rest, de-stress, exercise, and increase your fluid intake. A great way to start is by taking our Multi-Pro vitamin; it was developed by an Infectious Disease doctor that takes care of HIV patients to boost their immune system. Also, get your flu shot!

Well, I hope I have explained the Ebola issue plain and simple. Keep flying and play the Lotto. Your odds are better than catching Ebola.


Erik Suh, MD

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