High School For Health Professions & Human Services

Ebola Virus Infromation

Ebola Virus Information

On Thursday, October 23, 2014, a physician residing in Manhattan who had recently worked with patients in Guinea developed a fever. EMS was contacted and the doctor was taken to Bellevue Hospital, where a diagnosis of Ebola was confirmed. This is the first case of Ebola in New York City.

The New York City Department of Education (NYCDOE) and the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOH) are working together to ensure that you have the most up-to-date guidance about Ebola. Here is a letter to families from Chancellor Carmen Fariña and Dr. Mary T. Bassett, Commissioner, Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

The facts below are important to help you understand how low the risk of Ebola exposure is:

Ebola is spread only by direct contact with the bodily fluids of an infected person. You cannot be infected simply by being near someone who has Ebola.
The Ebola outbreak is concentrated in only three countries – Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone.
If someone has traveled to Liberia, Guinea, or Sierra Leone in the past 21 days but does not have any symptoms, he or she cannot infect anyone else with Ebola.

New York City is collaborating closely with its state and federal partners to protect New Yorkers. The risk of infection in New York is very small, and we hope this information will ease any concerns that you might have:

All school nurses and all medical providers in New York City have been prepared by the DOH to look for signs of Ebola and take immediate steps to respond and isolate people who may be infected.
Please visit the DOH website or talk to your school nurse for accurate updates about Ebola.

The DOH has developed the following guidance specifically for schools and daycare centers. It is important to emphasize that these measures only pertain to people (including staff and students) who have recently traveled to one of the three Ebola-affected areas. If you have not undertaken such travel your risk of exposure is truly minimal.

Fever in people who traveled to the affected areas is most likely due to more common infectious diseases in West Africa, such as malaria, and should be checked by a doctor.

Early Ebola symptoms can include fever, headache, muscle pain, vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach pain.

If, within 21 days of returning from an area affected by the outbreak, a student or staff member gets a fever or another early symptom of Ebola, he or she must not come to school. An adult should call 911 immediately, identifying the affected individual's symptoms and travel history. Health care will be provided across the City with no questions asked about immigration status and regardless of ability to pay.

The staff member or parent, in the case of a student, should tell the emergency room staff about the symptoms and recent travel upon entering the facility.

For more information, please visit the link below.