5 Everyday Health Risks in the Middle East Worse than Ebola

With the widespread Ebola scare across the globe and our region being geographically close to the now endemic West Africa, the question arises: Are we really at risk?

Well, the risk is always there, but is the threat real and does it deserve all the hype?

The answer is a plain simple NO.

So far, Ebola has taken the lives of around 5,000 people. It is spread by direct contact with an infected person, international travelers to and from endemic areas being at the highest risk. So unless you know an infected person, you are far more prone to other deadly risks and health hazards in our daily life than Ebola.

Here’s a list of five far more common and pressing deadly ailments that deserve our attention and concern:



What you eat determines your fate




Leading the charts of causes of deaths in the MENA region with a total of almost 40% is heart disease and hypertension-associated complications – all owing to widespread obesity and a sedentary lifestyle. The food we put into our bodies pretty much determines our fate.

In addition, diabetes-associated complications rank 10th on the chart of the leading causes of deaths in Egypt. So always opt for healthy food choices and an active lifestyle.



Drug Abuse




Seven countries out of the top 20 for leading deaths related to drug abuse are from the Middle East, with Yemen topping the list and Egypt coming in 17th place. The 2013 World Drug Report identified the increasing abuse of heroin and cannabis in the region as the main cause of the high mortality rates, with overdoses and drug interactions being the major causes of death. And with the region being part of the route of the global drug trade, the risk is always high. The reality of drug abuse is that it causes pain and hardship across the globe. Test Country offers drug testing kits in the United States that can unveil the nature of someone’s addiction.



Again, it’s about what you eat




Complications from gastroenteritis and diarrhea are a leading cause of death in the region, especially in children under the age of five. 10% of the total deaths due to rotavirus infections occur in the MENA region.



Road traffic accidents




Claiming the lives of 3-4% of the total deaths in Egypt, road traffic accidents are a real threat and deserve more attention and efforts to minimize the numbers. Road safety is a pressing issue, with total deaths of around 16,000 people in 2011 in Egypt alone.



The flu and other air borne infections




Influenza- and pneumonia-related deaths account annually for around 4% of total deaths, with children under the age of five, pregnant women and the elderly being more at risk.

Another air borne disease hitting the region is the Coronavirus, or MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome), with current total reported deaths at around 300. It is a health concern but not yet a threat.

Flu vaccination is required for the above mentioned population groups. Although it helps minimize the risk, it does not eliminate it.



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