Story by: Rebekah Street, Robin Hendricks, and Anna Maria Gardiner
Another epidemic, another worldwide freakout.
When a couple of infected Americans entered the country in the beginning of August, the paranoia began.
Ebola is spread through bodily fluids such as saliva and blood. Its victims bleed profusely inside and outside their body.
“Potentially, [Ebola can be dangerous to people in the U.S.] if our immune systems aren’t used to protecting us against it,” senior Addie Jones said.
Emory University Hospital in Atlanta released the two Americans who contracted Ebola while in West Africa, Dr. Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebol, last month.
Another infected American has been added to the mix, Dr. Rick Sacra. He is currently in isolation in a hospital in Nebraska, according to the FOX news story “Nebraska doctors say Ebola patient making progress”.
“I’m concerned about [the Ebola virus outbreak],” sophomore Addison Caulder said. “I hope they can find a cure and that it doesn’t spread to other countries like Europe or North America.”
So far, the only Americans who have contracted the disease have done so overseas in West Africa and have not spread it to anyone else in the country. Even so, President Barack Obama has stated he intends to use military resources to stop the spread of the disease, according to Betsy Klein, “Ebola is a ‘national security priority,’ Obama says”.
According to the International Business Times, the death toll of the virus has surpassed 2,000 as of Friday, September 5th.
Luckily, Ebola is only transmitted from human to human through bodily fluids.
“Students should always wash their hands after using the bathroom. The people who use the bathroom at school and don’t wash their hands are nasty,” freshman Grayson Galloway said.
Given the current facts of the situation, it is unlikely Ebola will infect Americans while they are on the continent itself, but it is still important to keep safe from other, more common diseases like the flu or stomach virus.
“[To stay healthy,] I wash my hands a lot ‘cause I’m like a germaphobe, and I take vitamins,” sophomore Kristy Sammon said.
If a student feels like they could have an illness like the flu or a stomach virus, they should go to the nurse in case they are contagious.
“[Students are allowed to come to the nurse during class] whenever they have a complaint and they notify the teacher,” school Registered Nurse Tracy Abercrombie said. “They have to have a written pass from the teacher.”
A student can be sent home if they are ill enough that it would not be safe for them or the people around them, if they were to stay.
“There are DHEC guidelines that are set in place by the state. Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and fever greater than…101.5,” Abercrombie said.
Regulations such as these make it less likely for infectious diseases, whether it be the flu or Ebola, to spread as it did in West Africa.
“Africa is less developed than we are. They don’t have the supplies and health care that we do,” freshman Braiden Groller said. “I’m not really worried about it [Ebola] spreading in America. I think we can contain it.”