Rachel Nuwer in Smithsonian:
Not long after the second nurse to contract Ebola was identified, it came out that she had flown on a commercial flight after being exposed to the disease. The presence of Ebola in the United States has flamed fears fed by misinformation about the disease, poor understanding of epidemiology, lack of perspective and panic-mongering. It has led to some surprising and disturbing reactions from both officials and members of the public. Here are a few of the more egregious examples:
- In Texas, a community college just announced a new rule: “Navarro College is not accepting international students from countries with confirmed Ebola cases,” the Daily Beast reports. On this grounds, Navarro College rejected a well-qualified Nigerian applicant—despite the fact that the disease isn't affecting Nigeria.
- Officials in DeKalb County allegedly threatened to disconnect Emory University's sewer system when two Ebola patients were rushed to its hospital, the New York Times writes. Pizza delivery guys supposedly wouldn't serve the doctors, either. (These claims were later disputed, however).
- Some lady wore a full-on hazmat suit to catch her flight at Dulles International Airport in Washington, D.C.
- Protective gear like hazmat suits, Business Insider reports, is now “the hottest trade in the stock market.” On Monday, shares of two companies that manufacture the gear were up 47 and 33 percent.
- The guy who owns “ebola.com” wants $150,000 for the domain name. As 1ClickNews reports, he hopes to find a buyer soon because “he is worried something may 'ameliorate' the outbreak, diminishing Ebola’s news value – and the worth of his domain.”
- This year's “hot”—get it?—Halloween costume: Ebola!
The Halloween costume, at least, does get one thing right—Americans think Ebola is very scary.