Group offers help against Ebola

The Minnesota African Task Force Against Ebola was founded this summer in response to the Ebola epidemic in western Africa. The group, primarily made up of Liberian immigrants from the Minneapolis suburb of Brooklyn Park, has been spreading fliers and raising awareness about the Ebola virus.

Education and awareness are the keys to keeping Ebola at bay and preventing unnecessary worry.

News broke last week that a man contracted Ebola while in Liberia and then traveled to Texas, heightening public concern that Ebola may spread in the United States. However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stated that the risk of an Ebola outbreak in the U.S. is “very low.”

Kristen Ehresmann, an instructor at the University of Minnesota’s School of Public Health, told Fox 9 News that a case of Ebola in Minnesota “would not represent a great public health risk to the general public.”

Despite the very small risk of Ebola spreading in Minnesota or the country as a whole, some have reacted in fear of the virus. Mama Ti’s Kitchen and Deli, a Brooklyn Park restaurant that serves Liberian cuisine, has lost customers who believe its food is coming from Ebola-affected West African countries. This sort of reaction is due to a lack of knowledge about how and when Ebola is spread.

Even with the efforts of the Minnesota African Task Force and other local organizations, including Boynton Health Service, ignorance flourishes. We urge individuals to step up and support groups that educate the public about the actual dangers of Ebola.