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School and Program Updates

School and Program Updates

New Ebola Video Featuring Michigan Experts Explains Its Low Risk of Spreading in the U.S.

As the current Ebola outbreak continues, a new two-minute video has been added to the University of Michigan School of Public Health’s expert video series on Ebola. In “Why is Ebola risk so low in the United States?” Dr. Arnold Monto, the Thomas J. Francis collegiate Professor of Public Health, and Dr. Eden Wells, a clinical associate professor of epidemiology and director of the Preventive Residency Program, weigh in on the disease, which has recently dominated news stories and led to worry about its spread in the United States.

Monto Wells
[Photo: Dr. Arnold Monto (left) and Dr. Eden Wells]

“Yet we’ve seen this happen just once,” Dr. Monto states, with the case of Ebola in Dallas, Texas. Although two nurses in close contact with the infected patient did acquire Ebola, “what I was worried about was further transmission in [the patient’s] contact because he was sent away from the hospital when he was sick. It’s when people are sick that they spread the virus.”

However, since the end of the incubation period is near and no further cases have developed, it’s unlikely to see community-acquired cases stemming from this circumstance.

“There is close to zero risk,” Dr. Monto adds—“even though we don’t like to say zero, because tomorrow there might be something that’s a little different than what we’ve seen in the past. But there’s very low risk of transmission of Ebola when we’re not seeing cases in the community.”

To view this video and the six others in the series, click here.