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PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN 6) — With a person who was possibly exposed to Ebola now in isolation at a California hospital, the question of whether Oregon is prepared to deal with the disease had been raised.
No cases of Ebola have been confirmed in the US, but the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says there have been more than 1,200 deaths from the virus this year and 2,200 confirmed and suspected cases.
As students from all over the world begin to return to Portland State University (PSU), officials there say they have been talking about the disease and closely following the case in California.
PSU Sophomore Genna Settle is from Liberia, one of the nations hit hardest by Ebola, and still has family living there.
“Obviously, the country’s not doing well, but nobody in my family seems to have got it yet. So everybody in my family’s doing well,” Settle said.
However, Settle said she is also concerned about her friends at PSU, which has a number of students from Africa.
Executive Director of PSU’s Center for Student Health and Counseling Dr. Dana Tasson said the university has a plan in place if someone begins to show symptoms of Ebola.
“It could mean isolation, transfer to a hospital, appropriate infection control measures here in the clinic and looking at other points of contagion throughout the university,” said Tasson.
With the deadly nature of the disease, Oregon Health Officials said they are taking no chances on college campuses or anywhere else.
“I think we’re in a very good position to deal with this. We have people who are trained in doing this,” said Richard Leman with the Oregon Public Health Division.
Symptoms of Ebola include high fever, headaches, abdominal pain and nausea. There is no known cure for the disease at this point.