WSU takes precautions against Ebola

Allison Mueller

Jordan Gerard/ Winonan

The Ebola virus may be far away in distance, but that does not stop Winona State University from taking “precautionary measures.”

On Thursday, Aug. 28, a campus-wide email was sent out stating Winona State was “monitoring the Ebola virus outbreak and taking precautionary measures to ensure the safety and well-being of the WSU community.”

There are no known cases of Ebola on campus, Minnesota, or the U.S.

Health and wellness services director Connie Kamara said the university wanted to “educate the WSU community and allay fears.” She also said the community should be “supportive of our international students.”

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has issued “Level 3 Travel Notices” in Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia, meaning “people should avoid nonessential travel.”

There is a Level 2 notice in Nigeria for travelers to use “enhanced precautions” to prevent the spread of the disease, although only a small number of cases have been reported.

The Ebola outbreak started on Aug. 25 in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea on the coast of West Africa.

The disease was discovered in 1976 near the Ebola River and can be transmitted to people from wild animals. It is only contagious through direct contact, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s Ebola fact sheet.

Symptoms of the disease include fever greater than 101.5 degrees, severe headache, muscle pain, weakness, diarrhea, vomiting, stomach pain and lack of appetite. Symptoms usually appear anywhere from two to 21 days after exposure to the virus.

Currently, there is no known vaccine for the disease, but the Center for  Disease Control is treating the symptoms of Ebola as they appear.