Ebola won’t get you out of class

Two days ago, as everyone in Dallas and the United States, knows, a Liberian man was diagnosed with the Ebola virus.

He was originally sent away from the Dallas hospital with antibiotics for a cold but was later rushed back after showing the violent symptoms of the deadly illness that is sweeping across Africa.

Some news sources report that he came in contact with at least 100 people, others say even more. One thing is for sure, Dallas has developed Ebola hysteria.

Here are just a few things, we, The Daily Campus staff, would like to clear up.

1. SMU will not cancel class. Note, this is a response to an actual statement made by an SMU student who was worried about catching the virus in class.

One person has been diagnosed and is in isolation. Nearly everyone who even came in the vicinity of this man is in quarantine and so far, not a single one has shown symptoms.

Those symptoms include fever of over 101 degrees, vomiting, diarrhea and unexplained hemorrhage (bleeding or bruising). An individual is not contagious until they show symptoms.

Which leads to 2. Ebola is not, we repeat, is not airborne. The Ebola virus moves from one person to another via close contact with blood and other bodily fluids.

If someone throws up around you, step away. We sincerely hope that is your first instinct anyway. Don’t touch people who are bleeding. Again, we feel this is a pretty obvious precaution but with the way people have been talking, we wanted to throw it out there.

There is no need to buy a mask. We’re serious.

3. Please understand that we live in a country with an established health care system and ways to deal with infectious and deadly diseases so that we can, in fact, stop it from spreading.

Also, your water is sanitized and the food you eat is processed meaning that the chance of you getting Ebola from poor sanitary conditions is highly unlikely.

And finally, 4. Stop. Stop using Ebola as an excuse to get out of class. Stop using Ebola as a reason to call home. And most of all, stop using Ebola as a joke.

In Africa, where many of the countries facing Ebola outbreaks are considered third world, there are people dying. There are a lot of people dying. Don’t tease your friend with a cough about the chance of Ebola because for plenty of people, that risk is real. The exciting thing for you is, that risk need not apply to you, SMU.

In the words of the director of the CDC, Dr. Tom Frieden, “I have no doubt that we will control this importation, or case, of Ebola so that it does not spread widely in this country.”

So please, for our own sanity, calm down.

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