Life Wellbeing Six things that are scarier than Ebola?

Six things that are scarier than Ebola?

Tweet Share Reddit Pin Email Comment

Ebola hysteria has well and truly gripped the globe.

After three Australians were hospitalised with suspected symptoms in recent weeks – all of them testing negative – Australians feel increasingly fearful of the virus arriving on our shores.

The cold, hard facts about Ebola

While the prospect of slowly bleeding to death seems like legitimate cause for concern, the difficulty in transmitting the virus lessens its risk for everyday Aussies.

Until Ebola becomes airborne (highly unlikely, don’t worry – viruses very rarely change their mode of transmission), you have bigger things to be concerned about. Take these for example.



According to the Taronga Conservation Society’s Australian Shark Attack File, there has been a total of 803 shark attacks in Australia in the last 100 years, 137 of which have been fatal.

In contrast, there are no known cases of Ebola in Australia today, and have never been.

Australian Geographic says that 170 of the world’s 400 species of sharks can be found in Australia, with Queensland’s Coral Sea being a veritable hotspot of shark activity.

Rail crossings

Australia has the sixth-largest rail network in the world, with 23,500 level crossings across the country.

Each year, there are around 70 collisions at these level crossings and approximately 37 of them are fatal.

From 2002 to 2012, 139 lives were claimed at level crossings.


Measles is a highly contagious illness that can cause a skin rash and fever and even lead to more serious problems like pneumonia (inflammation of the lungs) or encephalitis (inflammation of the brain).

There have been sporadic outbreaks of the disease in Australia throughout the last decade, including a recent scare aboard a Jetstar flight returning from Indonesia.


Those at risk include people who have not been vaccinated in childhood and those undergoing treatment for cancer who have weakened immunity.

There are 140,000 deaths a year from measles, mostly in developing countries, however one in 10,000 children will die from encephalitis.


As iPhones and iPods become fixtures in our pockets, so to do headphones.

Unfortunately, tiny earbuds tend to lessen awareness and place safety at risk, especially in busy, high-traffic areas.

A 2010 study by American journal Injury Prevention found a significant rise in headphone-related pedestrian injuries and death.

According to researchers, there were 116 cases in a six-year period, 16 of which occurred in 2004-05. From 2010-11 that figure had risen to 47.

In recent months, sexual predators have also begun targeting joggers with headphones in, catching them off guard before assaulting them.


Aside from being a scary phenomenon in the sky, lightning is also the leading cause of storm-related deaths in Australia.

On average, there are on 80,000 thunderstorms a year in Australia, with Darwin being the most susceptible to lightning strikes out of any Australian city.


According to the Bureau of Meteorology, there are between five and 10 lightning-related deaths each year and around 100 injuries – 80 of which result from people using telephones during thunderstorms.

Being struck by lightning is not a pleasant experience either – it can lead to severe burns, electrocution, paralysis and internal bleeding.


Clumsiness on a ski slope, in a car or while working machinery is widely understood to be risky, but general clumsiness while going about your daily life can also lead to death.

In 2012, 26 people died from falling off a chair, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Additionally, 715 people died from slipping or tripping. This is nearly one-fifth of the death toll of the latest Ebola outbreak.

Mind your step.

View Comments