Stanley Gaye, president of the Liberian Community Association of Dallas-Fort Worth, said the 10,000-strong Liberian population in North Texas is skeptical of the CDC’s assurances because Ebola has ravaged their country. “We’ve been telling people to try to stay away from social gatherings,” Gaye said at a community meeting Tuesday evening. Large get-togethers are a prominent part of Liberian culture. “We need to know who it is so that they (family members) can all go get tested,” Gaye told The Associated Press. “If they are aware, they should let us know.”
Ebola symptoms can include fever, muscle pain, vomiting and bleeding, and can appear as long as 21 days after exposure to the virus. The disease is not contagious until symptoms begin, and it takes close contact with bodily fluids to spread. The association’s vice president encouraged all who may have come in contact with the virus to visit a doctor and she warned against alarm in the community.
“We don’t want to get a panic going,” said vice president Roseline Sayon. “We embrace those people who are coming forward. Don’t let the stigma keep you from getting tested.”