Ebola Information

 

Meredith College Health Services is monitoring information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Wake County Health and Human Services concerning the Ebola Virus and the Ebola-affected areas of West Africa which currently include Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. Dr. Anne Smithson, campus physician at Meredith College Health Services, attended a meeting concerning Ebola virus with other local colleges at Wake County Health and Human Services and receives updated information regularly. Meredith College Health Services will inform the campus community when new information becomes available.

Update from the CDC 10/22/14: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that public health authorities will begin active post-arrival monitoring of travelers whose travel originates in Liberia, Sierra Leone, or Guinea.  Find more information on cdc.gov

It is important that the Health Center identify anyone - student, faculty, or staff - who has traveled to any of these affected countries in the past 21 days so we can assess possible risk. Please contact the Health Center ASAP at healthcenter@meredith.edu or (919) 760-8535 if you have had recent travel to any of these areas. The staff at the Health Center has been trained on the signs and symptoms of the Ebola virus and how to assess for risk of infection. In addition to advising the Health Center, staff and faculty returning from an affected area who feel symptomatic should also contact their primary care physician immediately.

Meredith College Health Services is coordinating with the Office of International Programs to monitor students who are currently participating in college-sponsored international programs.

Please note that Meredith College policy prohibits college-sponsored travel to countries that have been placed under U.S. State Department Travel Warning. Visit the U.S. State Department website for a current list of countries under Travel Warning.

Frequently Asked Questions and Answers from the CDC website:

What is Ebola?
Ebola virus is the cause of a viral hemorrhagic fever disease. Symptoms include: fever, headache, joint and muscle aches, weakness, diarrhea, vomiting, stomach pain, lack of appetite, and abnormal bleeding. Symptoms may appear anywhere from 2 to 21 days after exposure to Ebola virus though 8-10 days is most common.

How is Ebola transmitted? 

  • Direct contact with the blood or bodily fluids of an infected symptomatic person 
  • Through exposure to objects (such as needles) that have been contaminated with infected secretions.

Ebola is NOT transmitted by:

  • Individuals who are not symptomatic are not contagious.
  • Ebola is not a respiratory disease like the flu, so it is not transmitted through the air.
  • Ebola is not a food-borne illness.  It is not a water-borne illness.  You cannot get Ebola from contaminated food or water.

Where is the current Ebola outbreak?
The current Ebola outbreak is centered on three countries in West Africa: Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, although there is the potential for further spread to neighboring African countries.

Are there any cases of individuals contracting Ebola in the U.S.?
There have been a small number of confirmed cases of Ebola in the U.S. Ebola is not spread through casual contact; therefore, according to the CDC, the risk of an outbreak in the U.S. is very low.

Additional Resources

Anne Smithson, MD
Campus Physician, Meredith College

Sherri Henderson, PA, MHS
Director of Health Services, Meredith College

Brooke Shurer
Director of International Programs, Meredith College

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever

World Health Organization: Ebola Virus Disease (EVD)

American College Health Association: Ebola Resources

Q&A from Emory Healthcare Physicians on Ebola (Video)

Contact Information:
110 Carroll Hall
Phone: (919) 760-8535
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