Salisbury University’s Student Health Services (SHS) and Center for International Education (CIE) are together actively monitoring updates on the Ebola Virus Disease from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). As of August 18, 2014, no Ebola cases had been confirmed in the United States.
While the risk to SU students may be extremely low, the CIE and SHS will remain vigilant in assessing the situation. In addition to the CDC, the CIE monitors information from the U.S. Department of State and SHS receives updates from the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. International students arriving in the U.S. first must go through customs, where they will be screened. According to the CDC, “On the remote possibility that an ill passenger enters the U.S., the CDC has protocols in place to protect against further spread of disease.” Once students arrive on campus, they go through an orientation which includes SHS medical personnel.
For those traveling abroad, the CDC has declared a Warning Level 3 travel alert for the three contiguous West African countries where Ebola has hit the hardest: Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea. For Nigeria, farther to the east, the CDC has declared a Level 2 alert. Travelers are advised to avoid nonessential travel to these countries. The World Health Organization has requested exit screenings at international airports, seaports and land crossings in all countries affected by the Ebola outbreak.
The Ebola virus is not spread through the air, like influenza (flu), or water. Ebola is transmitted through direct contact with the blood or bodily fluids of an infected symptomatic person or though exposure to objects (such as needles) that have been contaminated with infected secretions.
Should you travel to any of the affected countries, the CDC recommends that you monitor yourself daily for signs of a temperature of 101.5 degrees Fahrenheit or greater for the first 21 days after you have traveled. If you develop a fever, please call SHS at 410-543-6262 to discuss your plan of care with them.
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