Update on the Ebola Virus

Radford University has been working closely with regional, state and federal entities to continually monitor the latest guidance on detection and prevention of the Ebola virus. This communication is an effort to provide consistent and updated information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Virginia Department of Health (VDH).

According to the CDC, Ebola is a rare and deadly disease caused by infection with a strain of the Ebola virus. The 2014 Ebola epidemic is the largest in history, affecting multiple countries in West Africa. The risk of an Ebola outbreak among multiple people in the United States is deemed very low.  

As with most public health issues, awareness and accurate information are critical first steps in addressing this disease. Basic information about Ebola is provided here as well as links and resources for additional facts, information and updates. 

General information on Ebola from the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):

Travel

The CDC has issued a Level 3 warning that urges all U.S. residents to avoid nonessential travel to Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone because of unprecedented outbreaks of Ebola in those countries. For the most up-to-date travel information, please refer to the CDC website: http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/diseases/ebola

What is Ebola or Ebola virus disease?

Ebola is a severe, often deadly, disease that affects humans and some animals (such as monkeys, gorillas and chimpanzees). It is also referred to as Ebola virus disease and formerly known as Ebola hemorrhagic fever. Currently, there is an Ebola outbreak in West Africa. Countries with widespread transmission are Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. For updates on affected countries, see the CDC webpage

http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/outbreaks/2014-west-africa/distribution-map.html#areas

For more detailed information on the Ebola virus, please go to the VDH website at http://www.vdh.virginia.gov/epidemiology/ebola/#General or the CDC website at http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/index.html.

How is Ebola spread?

According to the Virginia Department of Health: Almost always, Ebola is spread from person to person through direct contact (through broken skin or mucous membranes) with blood or body fluids (like urine, feces, saliva, vomit, sweat, breast milk or semen) of a person who is sick with Ebola or has died from Ebola.

  • Ebola may also be spread through indirect contact with surfaces or objects (such as needles) that have been contaminated with the blood or body fluids of a person sick with Ebola or has died from Ebola.
  • Ebola is not spread through the air, water, food or mosquitos.
  • Ebola cannot be spread through casual contact in public places with people who do not appear to be sick.

 

For additional information on the transmission of the Ebola virus please visit http://www.vdh.virginia.gov/epidemiology/ebola/#General

or

http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/index.html .

What are the signs and symptoms of Ebola?

Fever (temperature greater than or equal to 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit)—fever is usually the first symptom that appears.

  • Severe headache
  • Muscle pain
  • Weakness
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Stomach pain
  • Unexplained bleeding or bruising

According to the CDC, symptoms may appear anywhere from two to 21 days after exposure to Ebola, but the average is eight to 10 days.

For more information on the symptoms of Ebola, please go to the VDH website at http://www.vdh.virginia.gov/epidemiology/ebola/#_Symptoms or the CDC website at http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/symptoms/index.html.

In addition, there is a toll free number from the Virginia Department of Health to access basic Ebola information: 1-877-275-8343.

To contact Radford University Student Health Services, please refer to their website http://www.radford.edu/content/student-health/home.html or call (540) 831-5111. The Radford University Student Health Services’ fall semester schedule is:

Monday-Thursday: 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Friday: 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.

After hours contacts include:

RU Student Health Services Nurse Hotline: 1-866-205-2164

Velocity Care: 1-540-382-6000

Carilion New River Valley Medical Center: 1-540-731-2000