CDC warns universities to prepare for Ebola pandemic

Sunday, September 21, 2014
By Paul Martin

by: L.J. Devon
Sunday, September 21, 2014

American colleges and universities are now on high alert and are being instructed to take extra precautions against the potential spread of incoming Ebola. Students traveling abroad to Ebola-stricken countries like Liberia, Guinea, Nigeria or Sierra Leone run the risk of bringing the virus back to US campuses. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is now urging all US colleges to implement additional safety measures to prevent accidental spread of Ebola.

CDC officials are encouraging university staff members to ask returning students important questions about possible symptoms, including suspicious fever, body aches, headaches, diarrhea, unexplained bleeding and bruising. Any student returning from an Ebola-stricken country within the past 21 days is to be closely monitored upon returning to the US. (Ebola has a maximum incubation period of 21 days before symptoms appear.)

The CDC is even instructing students to monitor their temperature twice daily for a 21-day period, regardless of their symptoms. The CDC is essentially warning universities to prepare for a potential Ebola pandemic.

“If a student, faculty, or staff member has had a high- or low-risk exposure, state or local public health authorities should be notified, and school officials should consult with public health authorities for guidance about how that person should be monitored,” the CDC advises.

The CDC instructs any student with a fever of 101.5°F or higher to seek immediate medical care, while warning the hospital and doctors beforehand for special safety preparations. Students are also advised not to take public transportation within a 21-day period.

The countries most affected by Ebola outbreaks, Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone, send nearly 400 students each year to American colleges and universities. Nigeria sends an additional 7,000 students yearly.

Is America’s medical system better equipped to handle Ebola outbreak?

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