Dear CSN community,
As our world is increasingly concerned about staunching the Ebola outbreak, I think it is an important time to make the following public service announcement.
First, please get a flu shot. The flu, which consequently has many of the same symptoms as Ebola, is a far greater threat to all of us. If you do get sick with a cold or flu, please stay home. Make arrangements with your supervisor or professor where possible.
The CDC also has recommended that colleges and universities educate their respective communities about Ebola prevention. While CSN does not have an influx of students and staff visiting countries where Ebola outbreaks are occurring, the following information may be helpful or ease your concerns, regarding the virus.
Ebola is spread only through contact with blood or bodily fluids from someone showing symptoms of the virus. You can learn more at: http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/page/advice-for-colleges-universities-and-students-about-ebola-in-west-africa.
Mike Richards, Ph.D.
President, College of Southern Nevada
What should I do if I have traveled to one of the countries where the Ebola outbreaks are happening?
See CDC’s Interim Guidance for Monitoring and Movement of Persons with Ebola Virus Disease Exposure to learn about your risk level.
Pay attention to your health after you return:
- Monitor your health for 21 days.
- Take your temperature every morning and evening.
- Watch for other Ebola symptoms: severe headache, muscle pain, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain, or unexplained bleeding or bruising.
- If your temperature is 101.5°F (38.6°C) or higher or you have any other Ebola signs or symptoms, seek medical care immediately.
- Call and tell the doctor about your recent travel and your symptoms before you go to the doctor’s office or hospital. Advance notice will help the doctor care for you and protect other people who may be in the doctor’s office or hospital.
- Limit your contact with other people when you travel to the doctor; avoid public transportation.
- Do not travel anywhere except to the doctor’s office or hospital.
- Limit your contact with other people if you are sick. Do not go to work, classes, or other student activities until you have been medically evaluated.
- During the time that you are monitoring your health, if you have no symptoms, you can continue your normal activities, including work and school. If you get symptoms of Ebola, it is important to stay separated from other people and to call your doctor right away.
What should I do if I have traveled to one of the countries where the Ebola outbreaks are happening and have been exposed to Ebola?
- If you were exposed to people who had Ebola, or their blood or body fluids, a doctor should evaluate your exposure level and symptoms if you have them and consult with public health authorities to determine if actions— such as medical evaluation and testing for Ebola, monitoring, or travel restrictions— are needed.
- Follow the instructions above for monitoring your health.
What should I do to protect my health if I come in contact with people on campus who have recently returned from a country where the Ebola outbreaks are happening?
- Ebola poses little risk to the US general population and is not contagious until symptoms appear. It is spread through direct contact with blood or body fluids (such as urine, saliva, sweat, feces, vomit, and semen) of an infected person, or with objects like needles that have been contaminated with the virus. This includes through intimate contact, such as sex, since Ebola can still be found in semen for 7 weeks after a person has recovered.
- It is always good to avoid contact with anyone who is sick and to wash your hands regularly. Use soap and water if available or use hand sanitizer. Doing so can help you prevent getting sick from many different illnesses.