DePauw University administration plans for unlikely Ebola outbreak on campus

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When the first case of the Ebola virus appeared in America, people began to worry. With its students traveling all around the globe over fall break, DePauw is no exception. Traveling put students in a slightly more susceptible position to come in contact with the virus. Naturally, Ebola is a concern for DePauw students because whether you live in a dorm, apartment or on Greek property, we all live in a close and tight environment.  

Even though Ebola is all over the news, that doesn’t mean it will necessarily be all over campus. In speaking with the Wellness Center, Dr. Ripple said, “I think it would be very unlikely that an outbreak of Ebola would happen at DePauw.” While the chance is low, students should be reassured to know that the University does have a plan in place just in case Ebola did make it to DePauw. Essentially, Health Services will take the necessary steps of monitoring one’s internal body temperature to detect the illness early in those who have traveled to countries experiencing widespread Ebola.

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) website lists the symptoms of Ebola as: fever, headache, muscle pain, diarrhea, vomiting, stomach pain and “unexplained” bleeding or bruising. “Symptoms may appear anywhere from 2 to 21 days after exposure to Ebola, but the average is 8 to 10 days,” according to the CDC.

Places that Ebola has been located acording to the CDC.
NICOLE DECRISCIO / THE DEPAUW

In the case that a student had Ebola-like symptoms, the health care personnel taking care of them would be notified that the patient is a possible candidate for the virus. Health services would notify both the Indiana Department of Health and the Putnam County Health Department of the suspected case. On campus, health services would aid Student Life in protecting the health of the DePauw Community.

While it is unlikely an Ebola outbreak will occur at DePauw, it is important that students know the symptoms and aid the university in preventing the spread of the illness.Dr. Ripple said, “I suggest students educate themselves on Ebola virus disease, especially if they are traveling to a high risk area. Good resources are available at the CDC website.”