Ebola Virus Disease

Global Health News Update


November 3, 2014

The largest ever Ebola outbreak is underway in several countries in West Africa. It began in the country  of Guinea and was officially diagnosed in  March 2014. At that time Ebola spread to Liberia and Sierra Leone. There has been imported cases to Nigeria and Senegal.  However, there are no current outbreaks in these countries. Senegal just completed their 45 day clearance period and is disease free. For many years, Wheaton College has had a communicable disease plan in place. In consultation with the World Health Organization, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and International SOS (ISOS), Wheaton College’s medical and travel security services provider, Student Health Services is monitoring the Ebola virus.


There are no cases of Ebola within our campus community. However, as a precaution, Wheaton’s Global and Experiential Learning Program (GEL) has not approved any travel to these affected countries. SHS has communicated with all students, faculty and staff who are traveling internationally for personal reasons to avoid nonessential travel to the affected countries of Sierra Leone, Guinea, Liberia, and Nigeria. Although the risk of transmission during air travel is low, students, faculty and staff who return to campus following international travel should be aware that travelers from countries classified as Category 1 may be detained at the US borders and should check current policies related to their travel by asking their travel agent or referring to the US Department of Travel.


What is Ebola?

Ebola is a virus that has five viral species.  Each species is named after the country or area where it was first discovered.  Ebola was first discovered in 1976 near the Ebola River in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Ebola is a serious and often fatal disease.  It is spread through direct contact with the blood or body fluids of a person who is infected and sick, showing symptoms of Ebola. It can also be spread by contact with objects, such as needles, that are contaminated with blood or body fluids of an infected person. It is not spread through air, food or water.


What are the symptoms of Ebola? 

  • Fever (greater than 100°F)
  • Severe headache
  • Muscle pain
  • Weakness
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal (stomach) pain
  • Unexplained hemorrhage (bleeding or bruising)

Symptoms may appear anywhere from 2 to 21 days after exposure to Ebola, but the average is 8 to 10 days.


What is the treatment for Ebola?

Currently there is no treatment.  Symptom support through good nutrition and intravenous fluids has been the most successful. 


What are other reliable resources?

There is a variety of information currently on the world wide web.  However, not all information is reliable.  Please take caution to search for reliable information.


Centers for Disease Control

World Health Organization

International SOS

Ebola disease video from ISOS: http://vimeo.com/user20751789/review/106782984/87e645b4f8

Please direct non-medical questions related to the Human Needs and Global Resources program to Laura Yoder, PhD, Director, Email: hngr@wheaton.edu. Please direct non-medical questions related to future international travel to Global and Experiential Learning (GEL), 630-752-7309.

For further medical questions, please contact your local Department of Health.

If you are a student with further questions, feel free to contact Student Health Services at Health.Services@wheaton.edu or 630-752-5072.

Faculty and staff with health questions should contact their local physician or the Department of Health at 630-682-7400.

The College will continue to monitor the situation.  Any updates or changes will be reflected on this website.

For those traveling domestically and internationally, you may read more information here >>

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