Community forum held to discuss Ebola - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Community forum held to discuss Ebola

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Infectious Disease and Control Consultants had a community forum Monday with Dr. Carl Abraham, Jr. to provide Ebola information to the community.

Dr. Abraham will answer any questions about the virus and provide the community with pertinent information. He said their phones have been ringing off the hook so he wanted to answer any questions to put their minds at ease.

"There are two confirmed cases, that's it," Abraham said.

But that has not stopped people from thinking an epidemic is just around the corner. Abraham thought it was time to set the record straight. One of the biggest misconceptions of the Ebola virus is the way it's transmitted. 

"There is a lot of questions and we just realized there is a need when our office was being inundated with calls," he said. 

The community forum gave people a chance to ask specific questions about the virus. Abraham said people want to know the real facts. 

"I've heard that kids are coming home asking their parents all sorts of questions because they're hearing things in school," he said. 

Abraham explained the Ebola virus can only be spread through direct contact with the bodily fluids of an infected person. Ebola is not spread through the air of by water. Linda Nance believes the community forum is a great opportunity to become well-informed about the Ebola virus.

"It gives you accurate information instead of what you hear here, there and everywhere," she said. "I would like to know the incubation period and when you're exposed and when you would show symptoms and how commutable it is and just some basics on it."

Nance said so many things seem to be blown out of proportion. Abraham said in the beginning you cannot tell the different between Ebola and the flu.

"Flu is classically fever, headache and cough, it's the risk factor of traveling to west Africa and being exposed to somebody without personal protective equipment," he said. 

With world travel, it's very possible that there will be more cases just about anywhere in the world. Abraham said this is the time to get to know your neighbors.  Nearly 40% of Americans are worried there will be a “large outbreak” of Ebola in the U.S. within the next year according to a study by the Harvard School of Public Health.

"This is a good time to not panic, take a step back, count your blessings and do what you can for the community," Abraham said. 

He said they plan to start a bi-weekly or monthly series where he will discuss poplar health topics.

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