Risk of Ebola in U.S. Remains Low
ON THIS PAGE
- 2014 Outbreak
- Risk to individuals on campus, in community
- UB Travelers: Avoid travel to affected areas
- For those who recently have been in an area affected by Ebola virus
Members of the UB community share the international concern about the outbreak in West Africa of Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever (Ebola HF), a severe, often fatal viral illness. Student Health Services is relying on public health resources to provide information and links to the most up-to-date and accurate information available. CDC information.
"At UB, we continue to monitor the situation carefully. Our emphasis is on awareness building, acquiring accurate information and being prepared. We don't feel there's any reason for the UB community to be alarmed." says Susan Snyder, Director of Student Health Services at UB.
- Risk in the U.S.: The risk of being exposed in the U.S. continues to be low. The CDC has confirmed two person to person transmission of the virus in the U.S. The CDC recognizes that the transmission and diagnoses raises concerns. However, the CDC and public health officials throughout the country remain confident that we will be able to stop Ebola's further spread within the U.S. through thorough case review, isolation of ill people, contacting people exposed to the ill person, and further isolation of contacts if they develop symptoms.
- Concern for UB Students/Staff/Faculty: Before the fall semester began, the university assessed the exposure risks of the small number of students who are from or have been traveling in the currently affected region. To date, no faculty or staff members have been identified as having recently been in the area.
- Travel Warning: The CDC has issued a travel warning against any nonessential travel to the affected areas.
- Medical Protocols: Student Health Services is well-versed in caring for international students and travelers and uses CDC-recommended protocols for screening, evaluation, isolation and protective procedures.
Ebola is not a food-, water-, or air-borne illness. The virus is transmitted through:
- direct contact with the blood or bodily fluids of an infected symptomatic person; for the virus to be transmitted, an individual would have to have direct contact with an individual who is experiencing symptoms
- exposure to needles, medical equipment, or other objects that have been contaminated with infected secretions
- exposure to infected animals (through blood, fluids, or meat)
UB has prepared an FAQ for addressing questions about UB's preparedness and the Ebola virus. Read More
The 2014 Ebola epidemic is the largest in history, affecting multiple countries in West Africa. According to the CDC, more than 8,000 cases of Ebola have been reported in Liberia, Guinea, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone as of October 8, 2014. With a mortality rate of more than 50 percent, the epidemic is the deadliest ever for the virus. The World Health Organization has declared an international public health emergency. [WHO outbreak updates]
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is working closely with the WHO to support health officials in the affected countries, including helping to strengthen screening at their airports to try to ensure the outbreak does not spread further. They have emphasized that the outbreak poses "little risk" to the general U.S. population. [CDC outbreak updates]
The CDC confirmed the first case to be diagnosed in the U.S. in late September in a person who had traveled to Texas from Liberia. The patient's death was announced on October 8. The CDC has confirmed two cases of Ebola in health-care workers who had direct, care-giving responsibilities for the initial patient. These are is the first person to person transmissions of Ebola in the U.S.
UB Travelers: Avoid Travel to Affected Areas
The university urges all UB community members to avoid travel to the affected areas.
The CDC has issued their highest level of travel warning against any nonessential travel to the affected areas in order to facilitate control of the outbreak and prevent continued spread in two ways: to protect US residents who may be planning travel and to enable the affected countries and public health officials to respond most effectively to contain this outbreak [CDC travel health notices ].
If you must travel, protect yourself by following CDC safety advice. [For specific guidance, visit 2014 Ebola outbreak in West Africa. ]
For those who recently have been in an area affected by Ebola virus:
- If you have any concerns about your risk for exposure, consult with a health care provider promptly.
- Monitor your health for symptoms. Symptoms may appear anywhere from 2 to 21 days after exposure to Ebola virus though 8-10 days is most common.
- If you become ill with fever, diarrhea, vomiting or flu-like symptoms (such as intense weakness, muscle pain, headache, sore throat), please consult a health-care provider immediately to discuss your symptoms, recent travel, and potential exposures and make arrangements to get timely and sensitive care for your illness.
Remember: Ebola HF is rare, and there are many more common infections that cause flu-like symptoms. No matter what the cause of your symptoms, prompt medical care is important for your well-being and to protect others.
Where to Seek Care
- Students and visiting scholars: CALL Student Health Services at 716-829-3316.
- Faculty and staff: Contact your primary care provider.