Staff at the University of South Dakota and Sanford Health are closely monitoring the Ebola virus disease outbreak in West Africa. Although this is a very serious outbreak in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea and there are cases in Nigeria, the risk of acquiring infection in the United States is considered very low. The possibility remains, however, for travelers who are returning from impacted areas to become ill once they re-enter the United States.
The University will provide updated information about the Ebola virus to the University community when there is new information that could potentially impact faculty, staff and students. Sanford Vermillion Clinic USD Student Health is educating staff about the signs and symptoms of Ebola virus disease and the appropriate infection control precautions to take in order to effective work with patients who may come to USD Student Health with symptoms or call for an appointment.
What is Ebola?
Ebola is a virus. Symptoms include: fever, headache, joint and muscle aches, weakness, diarrhea, vomiting, rashes and abnormal bleeding. Symptoms may appear anywhere from 2 to 21 days after exposure to Ebola, though 8-10 days is most common.
- The virus is spread through direct contact (through broken skin or mucous membranes) with:
- a sick person's blood or body fluids (urine, saliva, feces, vomit)
- objects (such as needles) that have been contaminated with infected body fluids
- Ebola is not a respiratory disease like the flu, so it is not transmitted through the air.
- A person infected with Ebola virus is not contagious until symptoms appear.
Ebola Travel Advisory
The CDC has posted Warning Level 3 Travel Notices recommending that people avoid non-essential travel to Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone at this time. We advise that education-related travel to these countries be postponed until further notice.