October 16, 2014
Dear Students and Colleagues:
In light of the news that a Dallas nurse who has tested positive for Ebola was in Ohio from October 10-13, we want to share some information with the university community about this situation.
We can assure you that you are at no risk of contracting Ebola if you have not had direct contact with a person with active symptoms of the disease. Direct contact would include exposure to an infected person’s body fluids or providing care to an individual with active symptoms. Simply shaking hands with an individual is considered a very low risk contact. Being in the near vicinity of another individual or passing an individual in the street is considered of no risk.
The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and Student Life’s Student Health Center continue to be at a high level of preparedness for any potential case of Ebola Viral Disease (EVD). We continue to be in close contact with Columbus Public Health, the Ohio Department of Health, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other hospitals across the state to aggressively monitor all developments in this situation. We are focused on reducing the risk of exposure as well as rapidly implementing protocols for providing care in our medical facilities or responding to public health concerns across campus. We are confident that we are prepared to care for a potential Ebola patient and plan to do so in the safest environment possible.
The CDC’s recommendation is to seek medical care immediately:
If you have traveled to the West African countries of Guinea, Liberia or Sierra Leone or if you have been in direct contact with a person with active EVD,
AND, if you develop a fever (temperature of 100.4 degrees F/38.0 degrees C or higher) and any of the other following symptoms: diarrhea, vomiting, stomach pain, headache, muscle pain, or unexplained bruising or bleeding.
If you meet these criteria for both known exposure AND symptoms, you should limit your contact with other people until you seek medical treatment. Do not travel anywhere besides a healthcare facility.
We will share additional information about the university’s preparedness procedures and additional resources. Until then, more information about Ebola can be found at the CDC website: http://www.cdc.gov/.
As always, the health and safety of all of our students, faculty, staff, patients, visitors and the community is our priority.
Steven G. Gabbe, MD
Senior Vice President for Health Sciences, The Ohio State University
CEO, The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center
Andrew Thomas, MD
Senior Associate Vice President for Health Sciences, The Ohio State University
Chief Medical Officer, The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center