Written By: John Preer
Perhaps the most infectious quality of Ebola is the fear that seems to spread just as indiscriminately as the virus itself. In response to the epidemic, the Georgia Board of Regents will host a one hour webinar on the University System of Georgia’s website.
The webinar is called, “Ebola: Guidance for Universities & Colleges,” and is set to begin at 9:00 a.m. on Oct. 23 and will be conducted by Dr. Pat O’Neal, director of the Health Protection for the Georgia Department of Public Health. Dr. O’Neal is responsible for the oversight of emergency medical services, trauma, emergency preparedness, epidemiology, infectious disease and environmental health.
Those interested in attending the webinar should visit the university system’s website to register. The only way to participate in the webinar is to register in advance. Further details about the webinar and specific discussion topics will be available upon registry.
Although the number of confirmed cases of Ebola in the United States is still in the single digits, precautionary steps are being taken to quell mass hysteria and educate the public about facts surrounding the deadly virus. In a recent announcement, President Obama assured the American public that the chances of a stateside outbreak are still “very, very low.”
Although an Ebola specific protocol has not been established for most universities in the state, this webinar should provide them with a uniform procedure for handling a person who is a confirmed carrier of the virus as well as a protocol for quarantining the infected.
Many experts in the field of epidemiology are urging the public to focus on more prevalent viruses, such as the flu. With flu season quickly approaching, preparations for a virus that has been in the U.S. for more than a few weeks should be the priority of citizens worried about contracting a viral infection.
However, Americans don’t seem to fully trust the president’s reassurances. In a recent poll done by the Harvard School of Public Health, 40 percent of Americans were fearful of contracting the virus.