Ebola Virus Disease

Global Health News Update

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September 8, 2014

 In consultation with the World Health Organization, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and International SOS (ISOS), Wheaton College’s medical and travel security services provider, Student Health Services is monitoring the Ebola virus that has begun in Guinea, West Africa in March 2014.

 

There are no cases of Ebola within our campus community. However, as a precaution, SHS has communicated with all students, faculty and staff who are traveling through Wheaton’s Global and Experiential Learning program as well as other programs with an international component to convey the CDC’s recommendation to avoid nonessential travel to the affected countries of Sierra Leone, Guinea, Liberia, and Nigeria. As of August 29, 2014, one case of Ebola was diagnosed in Dakar, Senegal.  No other cases have been reported in this country. While no cases have been reported in Kenya, the World Health Organization has classified Kenya as a country at high risk of transmission due to its position as a major transportation hub in Africa. Information about the Ebola virus and the countries affected is available on the see the CDC website.

 

The CDC now recommends that all students, faculty and staff who have been in countries where Ebola outbreaks are occurring with the past 21 days must contact SHS. Travelers from affected countries who have symptoms such as fever, headache, achiness, sore throat, diarrhea, vomiting, stomach pain, rash, or red eyes should immediately seek medical advice and notify Student Health Services at 630-752-5072 or health.services@wheaton.edu.

 

Although the risk of transmission during air travel is low, students, faculty and staff who return to campus following international travel should be aware that travelers from countries classified as Category 1 may be detained at the US borders and should check current policies related to their travel by asking their travel agent or referring to the US Department of Travel.

 

As always, SHS recommends that all travelers observe the following general hygiene practices:

  • Maintain good personal and environmental hygiene, including frequent hand washing with soap and water.
  • Ensure that food is cooked thoroughly.
  • Avoid close contact with ill persons and especially with blood and body fluids, including items that may have come in contact with blood or body fluids.
  • Avoid contact with animals.
  • Upon return, closely observe your health condition over the next 21 days, seeking medical advice promptly in case of a fever above 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit, diarrhea, vomiting, rash or bleeding. Notify your medical professional about your travel history.

 

We continue to actively monitor the international health situation via local, state, and federal agencies and will post health-related updates on this page as necessary.

 

Please direct non-medical questions related to the Human Needs and Global Resources program to Laura Yoder, PhD, Director, Email: hngr@wheaton.edu. Please direct non-medical questions related to future international travel to Annie Nichols, Director of Study Abroad, 630-752-7309.  

 

Reliable websites:

Centers for Disease Control

World Health Organization

International SOS

 

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