If Ebola broke out near you, would you volunteer?

There is a new outbreak in Uganda ( http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/48372851/ns/health/#.UBTspaAsH1s )

I know most wouldn’t be able to go to a foreign country to help with an outbreak. But if one happened in your near-by vicinity, would you volunteer to work with the ill if they asked for help?

ETA: I hate to say it, but I voted NO. I’ve never been a nurse Nightingale type.

Voted yes, but I think that should be “yes, if there were some reason my help would be required”, because why would a hospital need me?

As I understand it, and I may be wrong, ebola is transmitted through bodily fluids. The reason it is so contagious in African countries is that many hospitals don’t sterilise equipment, nurses come into contact with bodily fluids and the embalming rituals of the dead also create new infections. In a hospital around here none of that would be a problem. In fact, several people in western countries have been infected in lab accidents over the years, and that has always remained an isolated incident.

Ebola is scary, but with proper precautions should be ok to work around. I think…

If it reached the point that the authorities were asking for volunteers from the general public, then yes. But things would have to be pretty fucked up to get that far.

I’m a student nurse. Yes, I’d volunteer. It’s what I signed up for.

If there was an outbreak here, I would not work in the field with the sick and dying, but I would be willing to work in the hospital lab, taking the appropriate precautions not to become infected by the specimens.

I figure if there’s big enough local outbreak for the authorities to put out a call for help, then there’s a decent chance I could get sick anyway.

No and hell no. I’d be in the car and speeding to the opposite end of the country. Y’all might want to look up Ebola sometime. Not that I don’t feel terribly sorry for the people and props to those who would, but I’m not risking my life for them, sorry.

Yes, absolutely. In fact, it fits in with my real-life career goals.

I would not be the first one raising my hand, no.

But if the outbreak was so severe that it was causing societal breakdown and/or family members were affected, then yes, I would be there.

I’m a physician. Infectious disease is not my specialty, but if there was a scenario where I could help, I would. I’d be very paranoid about taking all precautions against exposure of course. If you were in a modern hospital with American equipment available, you would be able to safely work with Ebola victims.

Not sure what I could actually do being limited to crutches and wheelchair. Kind of hard to sanitize a wheelchair. Not to mention enough health issues of my own.

I have been out of medicine for quite a while, so I’m not sure how useful I would be, but if I were needed, I’d go. I worked in hospitals for years and was around diseases that were as bad/communicable as ebola and had no fear. There are procedures for working with these kinds of diseases.

“Dammit Jim, I’m a lawyer not a doctor”. Really don’t think I’d be much use in that scenario, unless some of the victims wanted to revise their wills.

I would almost assuredly be more a hindrance than a help when it came to hands-on care. My work (and life) experience lends itself more to processing new patients in the waiting room than working on their injuries. My mom is a (semi-retired) nurse, and I have several aunts who are nurses, but I didn’t inherit the caring gene or the desire to work in the medical field. I have problems dealing with the blood, vomit, urine, and feces of strangers–even when they AREN’T contaminated with fucked-up viruses. While I have the utmost respect for people who can deal with the bodily fluids of others, I will never be one of them.

But honestly, ebola exposure is *severely *riskier than almost any other condition on the planet. I feel it’s irresponsible to expose oneself to it without proper medical training. Do you really want to take the chance that their blood won’t inadvertently squirt into your eyeball or mouth? That they won’t inadvertently vomit into your eye or mouth? That you won’t inadvertently rub your face with a gloved hand (because you don’t have the years of practice of NOT rubbing your face with a gloved hand?). Not worth the risk for any non-medical personnel to get involved, IMO.

Presumably if volunteers are being solicited, times are desperate and the powers that be aren’t looking necessarily for trained medical staff. Just people who can maybe mop floors, change bedsheets, wheel dead people around on gurneys, zip up body bags, and make phone calls.

I’m not Little Miss Gung Ho, but I’m not understanding the “I can’t do nuthin’ outside of my occupation” mentality.

I’m waiting for the knock on the door before committing. Field work is an entirely different proposition than hospital work.

Yes, I believe I would. There are ways of protecting oneself. I had planned on becoming a nurse about 7 years ago when my life took a turn in a completely different direction. I still think about it often. I had completed almost all of the pre-requesite classes to apply for the program.

Actually, I think if I was in a position where I stood [well, laid actually] a decent chance of dying in the next day or so I would be willing to reconsider my will. I could consider changing a couple bequests that I might not have made a few years back when I did my will update last.

Ebola is terrifying. Sorry people, I’m running the other way

I read “The Hot Zone,” by Richard Preston, which I know is not exactly JAMA or NEJM but seemed pretty factual and well-researched and there was some evidence that Ebola may occasionally travel through the air. It certainly did during the outbreak he described, though that was among monkeys. I would be too scared to volunteer. It is an awful, awful virus.

I’d be afraid too–I think you’d have to be a robot not to be. But they do make those fancy space suits. I’d get one of those things and hope for the best.