Duke Issues Ebola Travel Precautions for West Africa

As a safety precaution in the wake of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, officials announced this week that any member of the Duke community who has traveled to Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia or Nigeria within the previous three weeks should contact Employee Occupational Health & Wellness or the Student Health Center to consult with medical staff prior to returning to campus.

Also, any students, faculty or staff who plan to travel to any of these countries for any reason should also contact Employee Occupational Health & Wellness or the Student Health Center to discuss safety precautions prior to travel.

“The medical staff will be available to discuss current conditions in these countries, medical protocol, symptoms and treatment options for the disease,” said Eric Ossmann, MD, director of the Duke Preparedness and Response Center. “They are also available to answer any questions that travelers may have.”

Currently, there are close to 2,000 suspected and confirmed cases of Ebola in West Africa. But Ossman said that the disease is only transmitted through direct contact with the bodily fluids of an infected and ill person.

“While the risk of becoming infected in this country is very low, Duke has imposed full country travel restrictions for Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia until further notice,” he said. “While travel has not been restricted to Nigeria, the CDC is encouraging individuals to practice enhanced precautions if traveling to that country.”

Kyle Cavanaugh, vice president for administration and Duke’s emergency coordinator, said that the emergency management team continues to monitor the situation closely and will provide updates as new information becomes available.

For more information about Ebola, including symptoms, transmission and treatment, visit the Center for Disease Control (CDC) website, which includes a section on travel.

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