About Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever
Ebola hemorrhagic fever (Ebola HF) is one of numerous Viral Hemorrhagic Fevers. It is a severe, often fatal disease in humans and nonhuman primates (such as monkeys, gorillas, and chimpanzees).
Ebola HF is caused by infection with a virus of the family Filoviridae, genus Ebolavirus. When infection occurs, symptoms usually begin abruptly. The first Ebolavirus species was discovered in 1976 in what is now the Democratic Republic of the Congo near the Ebola River. Since then, outbreaks have appeared sporadically.
There are five identified subspecies of Ebolavirus. Four of the five have caused disease in humans: Ebola virus (Zaire ebolavirus); Sudan virus (Sudan ebolavirus); Taï Forest virus (Taï Forest ebolavirus, formerly Côte d’Ivoire ebolavirus); and Bundibugyo virus (Bundibugyo ebolavirus). The fifth, Reston virus (Reston ebolavirus), has caused disease in nonhuman primates, but not in humans.
The natural reservoir host of ebolaviruses remains unknown. However, on the basis of available evidence and the nature of similar viruses, researchers believe that the virus is zoonotic (animal-borne) with bats being the most likely reservoir. Four of the five subtypes occur in an animal host native to Africa.
A host of similar species is probably associated with Reston virus, which was isolated from infected cynomolgous monkeys imported to the United States and Italy from the Philippines. Several workers in the Philippines and in US holding facility outbreaks became infected with the virus, but did not become ill
The 2014 Ebola outbreak is one of the largest Ebola outbreaks in history and the first in West Africa. It is affecting four countries in West Africa: Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone, but does not pose a significant risk to the U.S. public. CDC is working with other U.S. government agencies, the World Health Organization, and other domestic and international partners in an international response to the current Ebola outbreak in West Africa. CDC has activated its Emergency Operations Center (EOC) to help coordinate technical assistance and control activities with partners. CDC has deployed several teams of public health experts to the West Africa region and plans to send additional public health experts to the affected countries to expand current response activities.
Stonehill College Disclosure Statement Regarding Ebola
As a Catholic institution, Stonehill strongly supports any and all relief efforts for our suffering neighbors in West Africa. On our campus, we are working to implement precautionary programs that would help prevent the potential spread of the Ebola virus within our community.
Any student/employee who has been working in an Ebola- affected area of Western Africa (Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia) may not return to campus/work on the Stonehill campus for 21 days after departure from West Africa.
Any Stonehill student planning to go to the affected area must inform Health Services prior to departure and immediately upon return.
Any Stonehill employee planning to go to the affected area must notify Human Resources prior to departure and immediately upon return.
Any student or staff member, who believes he or she has had a risk of any other Ebola exposure, should contact Health Services if a student and Human Resources if an employee. Representatives from these offices will contact the Department of Public Health (DPH) immediately for their advice.
Health Services will assist in compliance with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC)/Massachusetts DPH guidelines, including:
- Provide counseling/advice regarding symptoms to watch for during and after travel.
- Provide a log to track twice daily symptoms and temperature for the 21-day period following return.
Any student who develops symptoms within 21 days after returning must stay home and immediately call Health Services at (508) 565-1307. Similarly, any employee who develops symptoms within 21 days after returning must stay home and immediately call Human Resources at (508) 565-1105. In the event of a possible case, a representative from the appropriate office will immediately contact Massachusetts DPH for advice about how/where to seek urgent medical care.
Please know that Stonehill College is monitoring recommendations from the CDC and the Massachusetts DPH. If/when the recommendations change, we will communicate those updates to the community.
Contact information for local healthcare facilities:
Good Samaritan Medical Center: (508)-427-3758
Signature Brockton Hospital (508)-941-7000
Massachusetts Department of Public Health: (888) 658-2850 or (617) 983-6800
If you or anyone you know will be traveling to Africa please make sure to visit the CDC.gov's website regarding information to protect yourself and learn more about the virus such as, signs and symptoms, treatment, etc.