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Counseling and Health Services

HEALTH ALERT

Sent to students via email: December 16, 2014

Given worldwide concern about Ebola, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) is advising colleges to have a plan in place to monitor and respond to the needs of returning travelers from Ebola affected areas of Africa (Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Lagos in Nigeria).

 Our goal at Hamel Health and Counseling is to help keep the Merrimack College community safe and healthy.  Our office has implemented a plan in accordance with DPH recommendations to provide education and a plan for responding to any concerns about Ebola on our campus.  An important part of this plan is following DPH’s directive to provide monitoring and assessment of students with travel plans to Ebola affected areas. 

 If you have plans to travel to any of the affected areas listed above, please contact Denise Dwyer, Assistant Director/Nurse Practitioner in Hamel Health and Counseling upon your return at 978-837-5441 for important information and a confidential screening.

 Knowing basic information about Ebola can help everyone.  Overall, risk of transmission and contracting of Ebola is very low in Massachusetts and at Merrimack.  Ebola can ONLY be contracted through DIRECT CONTACT with body fluids.  It cannot be transmitted like the flu, strep, or mono.  You can only get Ebola from:

  • Touching the blood or body fluids of a person who is currently experiencing active symptoms of Ebola or has died from ebola.
  • Touching contaminated objects, such as needles, that were used on a person diagnosed with ebola.
  • Touching ebola infected animals, their blood or other body fluids, or their meat.

Ebola is a global concern, but everyone should also be aware that the risk of contracting the virus in the United States is Extremely Low.  If you are concerned about you or someone you care about being exposed to Ebola, please call Hamel Health and Counseling at 978-837-5441 and ask to speak with Denise Dwyer or Stephanie Kendall. 

 At Hamel Health and Counseling, we are here to help.  Please feel free to call either of us with any questions or concerns.  We thank you for your cooperation. 

For more information:

Facts about Ebola http://www.mass.gov/eohhs/docs/dph/emergency-prep/ebola/cdc-flyer.pdf

CDC Travel Advisories http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/diseases/ebola