I would add one more point that should be made:
When medical officials say Ebola can only be spread via body fluids, they usually cite blood, vomit, urine and diarrhea. However, bodily fluids also include sweat and saliva, both of which are secreted daily in the most mundane ways.
I strongly urge people in Dallas, where I was recently a graduate student at Southern Methodist University, to stock up on bleach-based cleansers and to refrain from unnecessarily touching their faces, especially if their hands have been in contact with objects commonly carried around in crowded public spaces, like laptops and cellphones.
Particular care should be taken with cellphones because many people carry these into public restroom stalls.
This outbreak not only merits sustained attention but also demands serious precautions. As someone who has studied Ebola, I am shocked that we seem to be taking this public health threat so lightly.
Kathleen Hines, Dallas, Texas
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