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Ebola outbreak doesn’t scare student majority

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Yaya Pineda
Staff Writer

The end of October brought about nasty coughs and colds that prompted many people to diagnose themselves with Ebola, the disease that swept through West Africa and spread internationally this fall.

However, it was simply a coincidence that the Ebola breakout and flu season peaked at the same time.

The topic of Ebola is something that has been causing a buzz around the world, and our campus is no exception. In an informal survey conducted on campus, however, only two out of 15 students said they were afraid of contracting the deadly disease.

Despite the lack of fear, many had opinions on the topic of the disease as an international health crisis.

“I’m not worried about getting it,” sophomore political science major Thomas Cooper said, though he added: “It is a horrendous disease. It’s horrible that it got the point where it is (internationally) today. It’s disheartening to say the least.”

As of Nov. 7 the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported only four cases of Ebola and one death from the disease in the United States.

The CDC also reported that West Africa alone has had a total of 4,960 deaths as of Nov. 4.

Research done by the CDC shows it only takes basic intervention to help someone take care of themselves immediately after being diagnosed with the disease.

However, the CDC found that Ebola has no cure and patients who have had it do not fully recover.

For most patients, vision and joint problems occurred for about 10 years after they were infected.

The CDC states the only way the disease can be transmitted from an infected body to a healthy one is through body fluids, contaminated syringes or needles, or by infected fruit bats or primates.

Three La Verne students were under the impression that the disease could be caught through airborne contact.

“I don’t want to be on my death bed or quarantined,” Joanna Martinez, junior business administration major, said.

Nine out of 15 students admitted to making some sort of a joke out the disease, which is a trend that can be seen on social media as well.

“I thought it was funny at first,” said junior criminology major Kenya Pena. “But as I read about it I realized how serious of an issue it is in other countries.”

The fact that the disease showed up in the United States brought some informed awareness to it.

Now, the Food and Drug Administration is working to find a cure, not just for those Americans that have contracted the disease, but also for those in other countries.

Though no cases have been reported in the area, the University’s health office has posted information on its website regarding what precautions to take to prevent contracting the disease.

For more information on the disease visit sites.laverne.edu/health-services.

Yaya Pineda can be reached at yareiry.pineda@laverne.edu.

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