AUSTIN (KXAN) — In a special meeting Thursday night, University of Texas System Regents got a teleconference briefing on the status of the Ebola scare and what health protocols are in place for the system’s nine universities.
Regents and university leaders listened in as health experts from around the country, including the national lab at the Galveston UT medical branch, discussed Ebola, the safety procedures it requires and what the prospects are for the future.
There are 216,000 students and 87,000 faculty and staff within the system and for now there will be no changes in the health safety protocols on those campuses.
“I am confident in that we’re providing our full resources of expertise. We have elevated our level of acuity on this,” said outgoing Chancellor Dr. Francisco Cigarroa. “We are all very well briefed on this but on the other hand you can never let your guard down, and we can never say there is zero percent chance of risk.”
Dr. James LeDuc, director of the Galveston lab, warned that the Ebola cases in Africa are projected to double every two to three weeks with a fatality rate of 70 to 80 percent. And he says that means there is continued exposure risk to the United States and other western nations. Doctors also say the disease can only be transmitted when symptoms are in bloom, yet 10 to 15 percent of cases do not exhibit any sign of fever, making such identification all the more difficult.