The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Texas A&M outfielder Jace Laviolette (17) reacts in the dugout after Texas A&M’s game against Tennessee at the NCAA Men’s College World Series finals at Charles Schwab Field in Omaha, Nebraska on Monday, June 24, 2024. (Hannah Harrison/The Battalion)
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Texas A&M pitcher Kaiden Wilson (30) delivers a pitch during Texas A&M’s game against Tennessee at the NCAA Men’s College World Series finals at Charles Schwab Field in Omaha, Nebraska on Saturday, June 22, 2024. (Chris Swann/The Battalion)
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Texas A&M outfielder Jace Laviolette (17) reacts in the dugout after Texas A&M’s game against Tennessee at the NCAA Men’s College World Series finals at Charles Schwab Field in Omaha, Nebraska on Monday, June 24, 2024. (Hannah Harrison/The Battalion)
United they fall
June 24, 2024
Texas A&M pitcher Kaiden Wilson (30) delivers a pitch during Texas A&M’s game against Tennessee at the NCAA Men’s College World Series finals at Charles Schwab Field in Omaha, Nebraska on Saturday, June 22, 2024. (Chris Swann/The Battalion)
Winner-take-all
June 23, 2024

Brazos County Health Experts Address Ebola

Recent news that a healthcare worker in Dallas contracted the Ebola virus and flew to Ohio and back has the public on edge.
Three local health experts spoke about Ebola at a press conference held by the Brazos County Health Department this afternoon at Texas A&M University.
“The virus is most communicable when someone is very ill,” Seth Sullivan, clinical assistant professor in the Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine, said. “The sicker someone gets, the more contagious they become. If we understand how the virus is transmitted, it can help to alleviate some of the hysteria.”
The National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases reported Ebola is transmitted through direct contact with the blood, feces, saliva, urine, vomit, semen, or other body fluids of a person who is sick with Ebola.
A major concern for the public is whether the virus can be transmitted through the air via small droplets, which, Sullivan said, is not very likely.
“A droplet of mucus coming from a sick patient has about a six-foot radius,” Sullivan said. “While an airborne virus suspends itself in the air, small mucus droplets can be expelled from a sick patient into the mucus membranes of someone else. Contracting the virus through the air is much less likely than open wound or mucus membrane exposure.”
If a person feels as though they may have contracted the virus, the best course of action is to communicate with those they may have come into contact with while showing symptoms, said Julie Anderson, community health services director at the Brazos County Health Department.
However at this time, there are no known cases of the Ebola virus in Brazos County, said Mike Paulus, BCHD emergency preparedness and response coordinator.
“Several hundred people have been exposed to the virus, but only two have contracted it,” Paulus said. “You have a better chance of being struck by lightning than contracting Ebola.”
Despite this, it is important to remain conscious and aware of the issue, Paulus said.
“Some folks are concerned with what they can do,” Paulus said. “This virus is no more different than many other illnesses. You can use common household disinfectants to keep your home clean. It is also important to clean food surfaces before and after eating and to always wash your hands.”
With recent news that Texas A&M is prepared to mass-produce an Ebola vaccine, questions have arisen concerning the timeline of release.
“With confidence, I can say folks are working rigorously,” Sullivan said. “Government and private entities are working together on a vaccine. No one knows the timeline for sure and it must be tested to make sure it is safe and effective.”
As flu season approaches, Sullivan said people must realize that common illnesses such as the cold or flu are much more likely to be contracted seeing as they are so common.
“We must remain aware and continue to do what we can for our health,” Sullivan said.

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