No Known Ebola Risk Present at Penn State
As fears of Ebola continue to spread nationally, Penn State spokeswoman Lisa Powers said there is no known risk of the disease spreading here, but the university is actively monitoring the situation.
Penn State is no longer monitoring the 80 students that travelled to areas with an Ebola risk, as their 21-day mandatory monitoring period has passed. They do not have the disease and are not a risk, Powers said.
“However, with the potential for new information and additional recommendations from Ebola experts and the CDC, we will continue to follow this issue, be vigilant in identifying any new threats, and respond as needed, in accordance with expert recommendations,” Powers said.
Ebola is an often-fatal infection that started in central Africa and was spread to humans from wild animals. It’s spread from human to human by direct contact with “blood, secretions, organs or other bodily fluids of infected people, and with surfaces and materials (e.g. bedding, clothing) contaminated with these fluids,” according to the World Health Organization. Symptoms of Ebola include a severe fever, headache, muscle pain, diarrhea, vomiting, and an unexplained hemorrhage.
Reports of possible cases have grown in the last week since a Liberian man in Dallas was confirmed to be infected. According to the New York Times, since an outbreak occurred in Africa over the summer, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have assessed more than 100 possible cases.
“While there are no current identified Penn State people who may have been in countries or locations with known Ebola outbreaks, UHS is not just ‘relaxing’ on this issue, but rather are proactively identifying potential future concerns, such as travel during semester break,” Powers said.