A scare Thursday at Southwestern College, coupled with recent news reports, has left many parents concerned about Ebola. Please know that the health and safety of students and staff is the San Diego County Office of Education's top priority.
Deputy Public Health Officer for the County of San Diego Dr. Eric McDonald has been in touch with the school nurse coordinator at the San Diego County Office of Education and has been very reassuring that at present we have nothing to worry about in the way of Ebola in San Diego County.
What You Need to Know About Ebola
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a person infected with Ebola can't spread the disease until symptoms appear. The time from exposure to when signs or symptoms of the disease appear (the incubation period) is two to 21 days, but the average time is eight to 10 days. Signs of Ebola include fever (higher than 101.5°F) and symptoms like severe headache, muscle pain, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain, or unexplained bleeding or bruising.
Ebola is not spread through the air, water, or food. It is spread through direct contact with blood and body fluids. Ebola can also be spread through direct contact (through broken skin or through your eyes, nose, or mouth) with blood and body fluids (like urine, feces, saliva, vomit, or sweat) of a person who is sick with Ebola or with objects (like needles) that have been contaminated with the blood or body fluids of a person sick with Ebola.
Best practices for protecting yourself from Ebola are similar to those recommend for staying safe from many illnesses, including the seasonal flu:
· DO wash your hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
· DO NOT touch the blood or body fluids (like urine, feces, saliva, vomit, sweat) of people who are sick.
· DO NOT handle items that may have come in contact with a sick person's blood or body fluids, like clothes, bedding, needles, or medical equipment.
If you would like more information about Ebola, please visit the CDC website http://www.cdc.gov/.