Precautions instead of hysteria

Published 12:07 pm Friday, October 17, 2014

Airports and hospitals around the country are on high alert amid the Ebola outbreak in West Africa and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

And the scare has hit even closer to home than expected after one infected nurse from Texas visited northeastern Ohio. At last count, seven people were under a voluntary quarantine and being monitored for the disease in that area.

In an attempt to alleviate the public’s fears, Ohio Department of Health has set up a hotline staffed with nurses to answer questions about the deadly disease.

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The 24-hour hotline was set up Thursday and has already kept the staff busy with a steady stream of calls, although the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has repeatedly ensured further spread of the Ebola can be prevented through vigilant precautions.

It is extremely important to take precautions against the spread of Ebola, as well as any other fast-moving virus, such as the flu. But it is also just as important not to spread panic and fear in the process.

According to the CDC, Ebola is not airborne and you can’t contract it through water or food. You can only get Ebola from touching the blood or bodily fluids of a person who is sick or has died from Ebola, touching contaminated objects, like needles, and touching infected animals, their blood or bodily fluids.

And the disease can only spread to others once a person has symptoms.

The DOH hotline is a good resource for those concerned with the spread of Ebola and anyone with questions should call 866-800-1404.

As there have been no active Ebola cases found in Ohio yet, everyone should remain calm and continue to take the usual precautions that one would take during any flu season.