By Allie Ibarra
Ebola Protocol in Hays County
The Texas State Student Health Center has begun following the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendation by running risk assessments on anyone coming to Texas State University traveling from West Africa. The Student Health Center has created a protocol should the risk of Ebola become present at Texas State. If infected, that person would immediately be placed in a designated room for isolation and, after further questioning to be sure the person has Ebola, school officials will contact the Hays County Health Department to coordinate the transfer of the patient to a local hospital.
Student Health Center Director Emilio Carranco explained how Ebola has the potential to be a worldwide threat, but people need to take the time to learn about the virus.
“It is usually only transmitted when someone is symptomatic. Unless you are exposed to someone that is symptomatic and infected with the virus, you’re not likely to contract the virus,” Carranco said.
Carranco emphasized that it is a difficult virus to transmit unless there is close contact with an infected person’s bodily fluids, making it unlikely to spread easily.
Hays County Emergency Management Coordinator Kahrley Smith said that all Hays County Emergency Departments have infection control protocols already in place, and Ebola falls into those protocols.
“We were prepared and still are prepared for any infectious control concerns,” Smith said.
Smith also pointed out that emergency departments have met to review Ebola infection protocol to be sure that everyone is well versed.
Both Carranco and Smith said that the symptoms of Ebola are very similar to the symptoms of any viral infection.