02:42 - Source: CNN
Ebola fears lead to conspiracy theories

Story highlights

A college sends rejection letters to applicants from Nigeria

A teacher who went to a conference in Dallas is put on leave

A principal who went to his brother's funeral in Africa is now on vacation

A TSA agent who patted down Amber Vinson is sent home

CNN —  

This is getting ridiculous.

While the threat of Ebola is very real in Africa, the paranoia it’s generated in the United States is unreal.

You can count the number of documented cases in America on two hands – and still have fingers to spare.

There are eight confirmed cases. And in each one, the patient was either infected in Liberia or Sierra Leone, or had contact with Thomas Eric Duncan, the Liberian returnee who’s the sole fatality of the disease in the U.S.

Health care professionals, both within the government and those with little reason to parrot a party line, insist that the chances of any of us catching the virus are minuscule.

If we really need something to worry about, they say, worry about getting your flu shots. From 1976 through 2007, flu-related causes killed between 3,000 and 49,000 people in the U.S.

And yet, the disproportionate hysteria over Ebola multiplies contagiously.

Mel Robbins, a CNN commentator and legal analyst, has given it a name: Fear-bola.

“Fear-bola attacks the part of the brain responsible for rational thinking,” she says. “It starts with a low-grade concern about the two health care workers diagnosed with Ebola in Dallas and slowly builds into fear of a widespread epidemic in the United States.”

Complete coverage of the Ebola outbreak

How bad is it?

So bad that nearly two thirds of those queried in a Washington Post/ABC News poll said they’re concerned about an epidemic in the U.S.

So bad that the Centers for Disease Control, in the first week of October, fielded 800 calls from concerned Americans.

So bad that even after a Dallas lab worker – who isolated herself in her cabin during a Carnival Cruise because she may have possibly handled Duncan’s clinical specimen – was cle