By Robin Alcantara |Staff Writer|
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are moving forward with plans set in place to prevent the further spread of ebola after the first ebola patient diagnosed in the U.S died.
Thomas Eric Duncan of Liberia died on Wednesday, Oct. 8, 2014 in Dallas, Texas. Duncan was one of six reported Ebola patients in the U.S. Five other patients were diagnosed while in West Africa and were sent home for treatment.
“Additional cases may occur in the U.S., particularly people traveling from the outbreak region,” stated Dr. Laura Newcomb, a CSUSB faculty member.
The potential of Ebola further spreading into other countries also exists because volunteers from all over the world are traveling to West Africa to assist victims and potential victims.
“The disease is very dangerous to the individual who contracts it, but it is difficult to spread,” stated Dr. Paul Orwin, CSUSB faculty member.
The CDC and the World Health Organization (WHO) report the disease is not airborne or transmissible in water sources.
The spread of Ebola from one person to another occurs with the exchange of bodily fluids, which is why health care workers are at a higher risk of contracting the virus.
Many students on campus are turning to mass media for information about Ebola.
“I never really knew much about Ebola before the diagnosis of the man in Texas was on the news,” said Raneem Alameddine, a senior majoring in communication studies.
“The U.S. will work with partner countries to prevent, detect and effectively respond to infectious disease threats,” states the CDC in the Global Health Security Agenda, a general plan of action to prevent viruses from spreading.
Additional precautions are in the works, as the Obama administration plans on providing Ebola screenings that detect fevers on international airline passengers. These methods are already being implemented in five of the nation’s airports.
Passengers traveling from the three most affected cities in West Africa, which include Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea, will be checked for high temperatures and other symptoms.
Fevers, headaches and muscle aches are among the signs and symptoms of Ebola listed by the CDC and WHO.
A popular health site webmd.com shows 170 other conditions with similar symptoms.
These signs and symptoms have caused fear in the population.
Students on campus are aware of the virus’s presence in the U.S. and do not want to take any chances.
“Because I am aware, it makes me nervous,” said Paysha Edwards, a senior majoring in health science.
Edwards also said she believes distance from others is important even though the virus is not transmissible through the air.
Both Newcomb and Orwin believe the U.S. has a strong enough healthcare infrastructure to keep anyone else in the country from contracting Ebola.
“It never hurts to wash hands frequently and avoid putting your hands to your mouth,” stated Newcomb.