KENT COUNTY, Mich. -- There has been a lot of hype lately about the real and perceived dangers of the Ebola virus in the U.S.
Health experts are urging everyone to keep calm, and keep things in perspective, saying there’s another illness far more common that is likely to impact us. And thankfully, it’s preventable.
Adam London, director of the Kent County Health Department, believes fear is being driven by a fictitious monster created by media hype and social media buzz.
London said the flu is much more of a cause for concern in West Michigan than Ebola.
“It’s estimated that 52,000 people died last year in America because of the flu,” said London. “Here in Kent County, we had 753 confirmed cases and five deaths. I'm concerned about influenza every year. Because I know, every year it's going to impact the lives of thousands of Kent County residents. And it may take the lives of a few of them as well.”
London encourages people that are really looking to protect themselves to get a flu shot, eat a salad, take a walk and buckle up when behind the wheel of their car.
Although Ebola is a very serious disease, experts say it’s a clumsy virus that can only spread through direct contact with bodily fluids from person to person. So, the actual mechanics of the virus makes it difficult to spread.