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Ebola risk to university is low; ASU travelers advised to heed warnings

October 09, 2014

Ebola has been in the news frequently after a prolonged outbreak in Africa and after the first case was diagnosed in the United States.

Although the risk of Ebola at the university is low, ASU recommends that travelers from the university follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations on limiting non-essential travel to Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, and review the advisory precautions on travel to Nigeria.  In addition, students, faculty, and staff who do need to travel to these countries should stay updated on travel and health information posted on the CDC website.

The World Health Organization has declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern, which includes recommendations on airport screenings, travel recommendations and international support to limit the spread of the disease. The United States has recently added health screening procedures for inbound flights from West African countries.

Students, faculty and staff travelers should be aware that:

• Healthcare systems of affected countries are already stretched and access to medical care for other illnesses may be difficult depending on the area.

• Although rare, travel restrictions and quarantine may be imposed on travelers either in the exiting country or upon return to the U.S.

• All staff/faculty/students who are traveling to these areas should avoid people who are sick with fever, vomiting, headache or diarrhea, which can be key symptoms of the Ebola virus.

• Upon return from high-risk areas, patients should self-monitor themselves for illness for the first 21 days. If travelers become sick (fever, chills, headache, or diarrhea), go to any ASU Health Service location and inform the staff of recent travel.

Ebola is characterized by fever, weakness, diarrhea, vomiting, stomach pain and lack of appetite. Ebola is thought to be spread only through direct contact with bodily fluids (saliva, blood, sweat and semen). The virus is easily destroyed by standard disinfectant cleaners, and the incubation time is up to 21 days, but most people begin to show symptoms in eight to 10 days. Asymptomatic people cannot pass on the disease to others, and there is no testing that needs to be conducted for asymptomatic travelers.

For more information about Ebola, please visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Ebola homepage at

For ASU Health Services locations and contact information, visit: