PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Dom Giordano hosted a forum at LaSalle University to address Ebola and talked to Assistant Professor and Director of the Master of Public Health Program, Dr. Holly Harner, and Associate Professor of Public Health, Dr. Daniel Rodriguez, about the risk Ebola poses to Americans.
Dr. Harner explained that is very difficult to contract Ebola.
“We tend to react, and sometimes overreact. The truth is that Ebola is extremely infectious, but it is only moderately contagious, and what I mean by that is that is very infectious because it takes only a small amount the virus to actually cause an illness, but because Ebola is not transmitted through air, it is far less contagious than some of the other conditions that we see, like the flu, like measles, like small pox. In order to contract Ebola, you need direct contact with someone who is infected and also exhibiting symptoms of Ebola.”
She reiterated that Americans are exponentially more likely to contract the flu than Ebola.
“Just from an epidemiologic standpoint, you’re much more likely to be exposed to and to acquire the flu than you are to Ebola. So people presenting to the emergency room or to their healthcare providers with fever, body aches, nausea, diarrhea, and so forth, more than likely they either have the influenza virus, which we have a vaccination for, or they may have a GI virus, a stomach virus.”
Dr. Rodriguez said he is confident there will not be a breakout of the virus here.
“We shouldn’t expect to have any kind of massive outbreak in the U.S. ever for Ebola. We’re pretty well prepared. You already see, we’ve only had one death during this time, and most of the deaths are occurring in Africa, where the infrastructure isn’t there like we have.”