Ebola scare at Southwestern College

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – The Ebola anxiety came a little too close to home today, as classes were disrupted at Southwestern College after reports began to circulate that a student had been exposed to the virus. What happened this morning on the campus of Southwestern College was more than a bit confusing because of bad information.

That was then amplified and exaggerated by fear.

The final pronouncement, no Ebola.

But the assurance came only after students and staff at Southwestern College had heard that a student might have been exposed to the Ebola virus.

Students were not allowed to enter the classrooms in a building, where a student had informed a teacher she was sick.

The panic intensified with reports that the student had been on the same airline flight as Texas nurse Amber Vinson, who tested positive for Ebola earlier this week.

In response, the school closed off two classrooms, and students inside them were told not to leave.

And the student who complained of feeling sick was sent to a separate classroom observation.

By mid-morning, the story of a student who might have Ebola had spread more quickly than the virus through social media, as the president of the college faced a volley off questions from reporters.

As it turned out, the student later admitted that she had made up the story and that neither she nor anyone in her family had been exposed to the Ebola virus. 

And the connection to the plane? Also, untrue.

The family had been to the Midwest, but not on the same flight as the Ebola patient.

But even after the story was correctly sorted out, campus police maintained the barriers.

Even after the scare had been dismissed, students in the building area were still not allowed to leave.

Although he was detained for several hours, Thomas Moore did not mind.

He thinks the college did the right thing, to protect its students.

Thursday afternoon, Southwestern College sent out a Tweet that read: No Ebola, no infectious disease. Student has recanted story.

To correct another bit of misinformation, the county health department never arrived on Campus.

Health Officials were apparently consulted, but did not come to the college.

Categories: KUSI