Ebola Virus Disease
The likelihood of the arrival of someone at SUNY Canton infected with Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) is extremely low. The potential for transmission in the United States outside healthcare settings is also very low. However, the continued spread of EVD in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia, together with ongoing international travel, raises concerns about the potential for EVD.
It is important to remember that individuals who do not have symptoms are not contagious. The virus is not transmitted by air or water. It is transmitted by direct contact with the blood or bodily fluids of someone who is already experiencing symptoms. Symptoms of the Ebola virus include fever, headache, joint and muscle aches, weakness, diarrhea, vomiting, stomach pain, lack of appetite and abnormal bleeding, and can occur up to 21 days after exposure to someone with the active disease.
The College’s Davis Student Health Center, International Office and Environmental Health and Safety are actively monitoring the situation. The College has a protocol in place for handling infectious diseases and other health emergencies. The protocol includes preparedness for the management and care of individuals potentially exposed to or who may have an illness consistent with EVD, as well as appropriate communications, response, and support for the College community as a whole. We work closely and in collaboration with St. Lawrence County Public Health and New York State’s Department of Health (NYSDOH) and continually monitor the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Ebola Web site.
The CDC’s guidance for the higher education community provides more specific information on EVD as it applies to college/university setting.
The CDC has issued a Level 3 Travel Warning to avoid nonessential travel to the West African nations of Guinea and Sierra Leone. The World Health Organization (WHO) declared the end of the Ebola outbreak in Liberia on May 9, 2015. The health system in Liberia continues to monitor for new cases and to take precautions to prevent transmission in the country. Therefore a Level 2 Travel Warning (practice enhanced precautions) is in effect for Liberia. SUNY has already prohibited campus sponsored or approved travel to countries with current Level 3 travel warnings. The travel ban applies to all campus-related or funded activity. Members of the College community are strongly encouraged to heed the CDC and US State Department’s cautions regarding travel in this region. The SUNY Chancellor’s memo and SUNY's Health Alert website outlining SUNY’s response is available for review.
Travelers returning from regions with Ebola outbreaks and/or any exposure to a known suspected case of Ebola will undergo direct active monitoring for 21 days after the last potential exposure. New York is the first state to receive a list of travelers from the three affected countries. Working with the CDC, NYSDOH is receiving reports of travelers arriving at JFK International Airport whose destinations are somewhere in New York State. NYSDOH will work with local health departments to contact all incoming travelers to 1) ensure that they have no risk exposure to Ebola; 2) are taking their temperatures for 21 days; 3) have a plan if they get sick; and 4) have contact information at NYSDOH.
Remember hand washing is the number one way to prevent the spread of infectious diseases, including the more common influenza virus. Contact the College‘s Davis Student Health Center with any questions or concerns at 315-386-7333.
For More Information About Ebola
- Ebola Frequently Asked Questions (NYSDOH)
- Ebola: Am I at Risk? (NYSDOH)
- Questions and Answers on Ebola (CDC)
- Top Ten Things You Really Need to Know about Ebola (CDC)