The CDC Is Using Twitter to Explain Ebola for the Second Time in Two Months

And people have just as many questions about the virus as they did during August’s online chat.

Members of New York City's Bellevue Hospital staff wear protective clothing as they demonstrate how they would receive a suspected Ebola patient on Oct. 8.
Spencer Platt/Getty Images
Marina Koren
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Marina Koren
Oct. 8, 2014, 12:07 p.m.

Two months ago, when U.S. health of­fi­cials first took to Twit­ter to ex­plain Ebola, the vir­us had killed just un­der 800 people in West Africa.

Now, as the Cen­ters for Dis­ease Con­trol and Pre­ven­tion hosts its second on­line chat about the vir­us, the out­break in Liber­ia, Si­erra Le­one, and Guinea has claimed 3,865 lives. That num­ber in­cludes Thomas Eric Duncan, a 42-year-old man who died of Ebola in Texas on Wed­nes­day morn­ing. Duncan, who ar­rived in Dal­las more than two weeks ago from Liber­ia, was the first per­son to be dia­gnosed with the dis­ease on Amer­ic­an soil.

U.S. of­fi­cials said Wed­nes­day that people who fly in­to five ma­jor Amer­ic­an air­ports from Liber­ia, Si­erra Le­one, and Guinea will be screened for fever, one of the first symp­toms of Ebola.

On Wed­nes­day af­ter­noon, as they did back in Au­gust, the tweets star­ted pour­ing in. Here’s a sampling of the In­ter­net’s ques­tions for @CD­Cgov and its af­fil­i­ate Twit­ter ac­counts, stream­lined un­der #CD­CChat. Fol­low the whole thing here.

Many users wondered wheth­er an Ebola epi­dem­ic is pos­sible in the U.S.:

Oth­ers got a little more spe­cif­ic:

There is no cure or vac­cine for Ebola, and doc­tors are not sure ex­actly how ex­per­i­ment­al drugs have cured some people of the dis­ease, which has some ask­ing:

One user’s in­quiry was es­pe­cially timely. On Wed­nes­day, Span­ish au­thor­it­ies eu­th­an­ized Ex­calibur, the pet dog of a nurse who con­trac­ted Ebola this week, des­pite crowd-sourced ef­forts to spare his life.

And some users, well, took the Twit­ter chat less ser­i­ously than oth­ers:

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