As news continues to surface regarding the Ebola virus in the United States, Sam Houston State University issued a statement telling students and faculty “we do not feel there’s any reason for the SHSU community to be alarmed.”
In the statement issued Oct. 6, SHSU reaffirms there have been no report of Ebola-like illnesses at the Student Health and Counseling Center and is currently following protocols detailed by the Texas Department of State Health Services and the Federal Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
Julia May, SHSU associate director of communications, said the university felt a need to comment on the situation and give students and faculty references for general information about the virus.
“In light of things that were happening in the Dallas area where [Thomas Eric] Duncan was diagnosed with Ebola, we felt there was a need to comment on the fact we were monitoring the situation and let people know again where to refer for any advice or questions they may have,” May said.
May said the Student Health and Counseling Center did receive calls for general information and questions about the Ebola virus. Other universities including Texas State University have released similar statements about Ebola and detail university protocol if a student or faculty member showed signs of the virus.
“At the time, a lot of the universities were coming out with statements especially with those who had students traveling to those countries,” May said. “What we are doing now we would call 911 and work with the Walker County Emergency Medical Service and turn the individual over to their care.”
SHSU’s statement can be viewed at the Student Health and Counseling Center’s web page.
Kaci Hickox, the nurse quarantined in New Jersey, was released Monday after testing negative for Ebola Saturday morning. Hickox has been “held against her will in a tent outside a New Jersey Medical center,” since Friday, according to NBC News. Hickox has hired a lawyer after being taken off her flight and held in quarantine.
“Since testing negative for Ebola on early Saturday morning, the patient being monitored in isolation at University Hospital in Newark has thankfully been symptom free for the last 24 hours,” New Jersey health officials said via NBC News. “As a result, and after being evaluated in coordination with the CDC and the treating clinicians at University Hospital, the patient is being discharged.”
Nina Pham, the first person in the United States to contract Ebola, was released Friday to return to Dallas after testing virus free.
Pham is a nurse at Texas Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas and is one of two nurses who contracted the virus while caring for Duncan. The second nurse, Amber Vinson, tested free of the virus as well, according to the Dallas Morning News.