NJ Residents Divided on Ebola Fears
While health officials in Texas monitor the only case of Ebola diagnosed on U.S. soil, Garden State residents have mixed feelings of whether or not to worry.
Officials are reaching out to about 80 people who may have had direct or indirect contact with the man infected with Ebola, Thomas Eric Duncan.
The virus is not contagious until symptoms begin. Those include fever, muscle pain, vomiting and bleeding. Ebola is only spread through close contact with an infected person's bodily fluids.
The relative difficulty of transmitting the disease has left some residents skeptical about the disease making it outside of Texas.
"I know enough about (Ebola), but it's in Africa in underdeveloped countries," said Joseph, an Old Bridge resident who declined to give his last name. "I don't think New Jersey or any other states are in any danger."
However, some parents are not taking any chances. Jessica Slover, also an Old Bridge resident, said she is taking extra care to make sure her young son washes his hands, stays away from sick people, and uses sanitizer.
While she said it's unlikely Ebola will make it to the Central Jersey suburb, the Slovers' proximity to a major city has caused trouble before.
"My son had a touch of enterovirus, and it was from his classmates at school because a lot of their parents work in the city and they don't wash their hands," Slover said. "It opened up my eyes."
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has received 94 inquiries from states about illnesses that initially were suspected to be Ebola, but after documenting travel histories and doing some other background work, most cases were ruled out. Of the 13 people who actually underwent testing, only one -- Duncan -- tested positive.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.