Communicable Disease Update – Ebola and Travel

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is urging U.S. residents to avoid non-essential travel to West Africa due to the unprecedented Ebola outbreak. Travel warnings have been issued for Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia. Travelers could become infected if they come into contact with blood or body fluids from someone who is sick or has died from Ebola, sick wildlife, or meat from an infected animal. Please keep in mind that Ebola is highly infectious but is not highly contagious. Ebola cannot spread in the air, unlike the flu and tuberculosis. You can only catch the virus by direct contact with blood and other bodily fluids. If any CPCC employees or students must travel to this region please contract Environmental Health and Safety at ext. 6580 or Aashima.Rodkey@cpcc.edu for details on precautionary measures.
EHS will continue working closely with health agencies and keep the college abreast of any pertinent updates.
Please familiarize yourself with the CPCC Communicable Disease Policy
For additional information on the Ebola virus: http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/

Flu Prevention 101

Influenza activity continues to increase in the United States; most of the country is now experiencing high levels of influenza like illnesses. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) continues to recommend the influenza vaccine for people who have not been vaccinatedwashing hands this season and antiviral treatment as early as possible for people who get sick and are at high risk of flu complications.

What is the flu?
Influenza (the flu) is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. It can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death. Some people, such as older people, young children, and people with certain health conditions, are at high risk for serious flu complications. The best way to prevent the flu is by getting vaccinated each year.

How is the flu spread?
Most experts think that flu viruses are spread mainly when people with flu cough, sneeze or talk.  Less often, a person might also get the flu by touching a surface or object that has flu virus on it and then touching their own mouth or nose. To avoid catching the flu, people should wash their hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.

Symptoms start 1 to 4 days after the virus enters the body. That means that you may be able to pass on the flu to someone else before you know you are sick, as well as while you are sick.

Who Should Get Vaccinated

Everyone who is at least 6 months of age should get a flu vaccine this season.

Preventative Actions

  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
  • Wash your hands frequently with soap & water or an alcohol based hand rub.
  • If you are sick with flu-like illness, the CDC recommends that you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone.
  • Avoid contact with others
  • Get plenty of rest