Uneducated Ebola students cause for concern

The Ebola virus disease, EVD, epidemic has been the topic on almost every media outlet and the conversation within the health care community. But for such a prominent news topic and health care concern, I feel the world is still highly uneducated about the virus.

I don’t necessarily think it is because the government and health care providers have been hesitant on educating the world about the virus, I think it is because people just don’t want to know the facts until it is affecting them personally.

For example, Gannon’s Health Department held an information seminar on EVD Monday and I went to gather information for an article. I was the only student there. I thought being a school with such a wide variety of international students that some people would be interested in learning about the virus.

Melanie Glennon, the certified registered nurse practitioner at the Health Center, was there to answer any questions and to clarify concerns the students held. But she had no questions to answer besides mine.

She said she thinks the reason people are so far removed from the epidemic is because it hasn’t become a local problem to Erie and maybe they aren’t concerned.

I asked her if maybe there might be more concerns after the nurse who was assisting the patient in Dallas who died just recently traveled to Kent, Ohio, since it is closer to Gannon. Glennon said she wasn’t sure because of the lack of interest the virus currently has.

No one I personally know has been infected, but I still feel some sort of urgency to understand a little bit more about the virus that is killing thousands of people in West Africa.

With Gannon being such a diverse university I think more students should care about what happens internationally. We have students from all over the world and maybe the virus hasn’t been a problem in Erie, but other parts of the world are dealing with this problem on a daily basis.

I think the ignorance some students have toward this particular issue is seen in other medical epidemics as well. People should want to know more because there have been changes to protocols in airports, hospitals and travel in general because of it.

This virus and even just the changes to flight travel might not be affecting anyone you know, but that doesn’t mean they won’t in the future. Being uneducated or being disconnected is dangerous.

BECKY HILKER

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