2014
10.17

Throughout the day, Walker County social media has been buzzing (absolutely vibrating) with rumors regarding the risk of ebola being spread in a LaFayette school. As rumors tend to go, the details have been inconsistent and the rumored situation has grown worse with each retelling.

Walker County Schools HQ

The core rumor (with some variation) is as follows: An administrator or teacher from Gilbert Elementary traveled to Dallas for the birth of a grandchild. The child was born at a Dallas hospital recently in headline news for the ebola virus, so the school employee will bring the disease back and transmit it to students when she returns to work next week.

In order to address a potential panic in the community, LU contacted the school system for a comment on the situation. Superintendent Raines sent the following statement shortly before 5:00 this evening:

    “The Walker County Board of Education has been in contact with our local Health Department and the Regional Health Department in Rome throughout the day. Officials with the Regional Health Department assure the Walker County School System there is no cause for alarm regarding an employee traveling back from Dallas, Texas. They recommend that everyone become familiar with the Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) website and read the facts concerning transmission of this or any virus or disease. The main priority of the Walker County School System is the health and safety of all students and employees.”

The school system additionally included this statement from Dr. Wade Sellers of Northwest Georgia Community Health:

    “Ebola is spread by contact with a sick person’s blood or body fluids. Someone who has not been in direct contact with an infected person or has not traveled to West Africa is not at risk for being infected with Ebola.  Even being in the same building where an Ebola patient is being cared for does not present a risk, again, unless there is direct contact with the infected person or their bodily fluids.”

A school employee DID travel to Dallas, but there’s no risk of them catching or carrying the disease unless they sat in the same room as an impacted patient or somehow came across their bodily fluids. The patient who died of ebola was long gone before the school employee left Walker County, and the nurses infected – who don’t work the neonatal unit – are under quarantine in another state.

There’s no risk of ebola coming to Walker County OR being spread to school children at Gilbert or anywhere else through this individual’s out-of-state travel. Parents can send their kids to school next week and the week after that in as much safety as they normally have.

CDC Web Site | Texas Hospital Web Site

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7 comments so far

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  1. Thank you for finding out the truth about the situation!

  2. Can u state ur life on this statement when u know they’re not sure how those two nurses got ebola when they don’t know how they got it they thought they follwed the guidelines of the cdc.just know you are the one that made this call.

  3. Rosa: They don’t know exactly how the nurses got Ebola but they do know they both had direct contact with the man who died from it. The Gilbert employee is in Dallas in a different building blocks away from the ICU where Ebola was treated. The nurses who got sick aren’t there, they aren’t even in the state anymore.

    This individual has more risk of catching ebola on the airplane flying home, along with a couple thousand other people, than from the hospital.

    — LU

  4. WIm going to read up on this to see how many days or weeks before symptoms start to show, I am scarce just like everyone else is for our children an grand children, you say no she was several blocks away from that hospital, but what about people coming out from that hospital on the streets, sneezing ( isn’t that a body fluid) if your close to someone that sneezes? That’s salava that comes with sneezing an coughing, an also people that are on the plane that may possible be a week into the disease, an don’t know they have it.I’m not sure how long they have to be quarantined, or how soon the effects comes on. Its very Scarey, then add the fact of flying makes it worse. We are just very scarede an niece of this disease.my opinion is the person should take a few weeks off to make sure they don’t have it. I’m not trying to make this worse, but I think a lot of people think like me, and opinions, well everyone has them.

  5. People need to be more concern about catching the flu. That is a much more likely scenario and can just as easily lead to illness and possibly death.

    I am not saying don’t be caution. Of course you should. Wash your hands. Be mindful of covering you cough and not sneezing in people’s faces. But for heaven’s sake, stop feeding the social media frenzy about Ebola in our community!!!

  6. Ok, this argument could go on for years–with everyone having different opinions–but at some point one must consider all of facts– true or untrue. Maybe romance novel models are the only people who take into consideration all sides of the story. They chose to quarantine theirselves, regardless if they believed they had come into contact with the virus or not, just to help put people at ease. Yes, some people are more educated than others, and everybody’s going to have their own an opinion. But, if doing a 21 day quarantine would help stop mass hysteria isn’t it worth it. Isn’t that better than people keeping their children out of schools for X amount of time, thereby forcing the schools to close anyways. How does that help anyone? Instead of sitting here arguing about people’s intelligence level or if they are right or wrong, don’t you think that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure?

  7. So what’s your criteria for “making” somebody be in quarantine for three weeks? Anybody who’s been to Texas in the last month? Anybody who’s been to Atlanta (where one of the sick nurses actually is) in the last month? Anyone who’s been on an airplane since August?

    Also are you going to pay all these people’s salaries, pay for their quarantine care (which means they’re in the hospital behind closed doors being monitored 24/7 for 21 days), and pay the salaries of whoever replaces them at their job during the same time?

    What about their spouses, family members? People who have come in contact with their family members? At this point you’re talking man + dog x the entire country.

    — LU