Clemson officials monitor Ebola Virus Disease situation

August 11, 2014

In light of news reports and heightened concerns about the spread of the Ebola virus in West Africa, University officials are monitoring developments and preparing in case students, staff or faculty with possible exposure to the virus arrive on campus from the affected region.

No Clemson University-affiliated persons have been identified as having traveled to or from the region as of Aug. 8, and no students from the affected countries are expected to arrive on campus for the fall semester.

The current Ebola outbreak is centered in four countries in West Africa: Liberia, Guinea, Sierra Leone and Nigeria. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Ebola does not currently pose a significant risk to the United States public. No cases have been contracted in the U.S. However, the World Health Organization has declared the Ebola outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern and called for rigorous efforts to contain and prevent further spread of the disease.

Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) is a severe, often fatal, disease in humans. Ebola is not a respiratory disease like the flu, so it is not transmitted through the air. Ebola virus is transmitted only through direct contact with the blood or body fluids of an infected, symptomatic person or through exposure to contaminated objects (such as needles).

Symptoms of EVD include: fever, headache, joint and muscle aches, weakness, diarrhea, vomiting, stomach pain, lack of appetite, and abnormal bleeding. Symptoms may appear between two to 21 days after exposure to Ebola virus. An individual would have to have direct contact with someone experiencing symptoms for disease transmission to occur.

Clemson University’s Redfern Health Center staff are training on the signs and symptoms of the Ebola virus and will be on high alert as fall semester begins. The university’s response to the Ebola threat will be guided by the recommendations of CDC and DHEC, and by ongoing developments.

Everyone arriving from Sierra Leone, Guinea, Liberia or Nigeria should monitor their body temperature twice daily for 21 days after travel. Anyone developing a fever of greater than 38.6 degrees Celsius or 101.5 degrees Fahrenheit or experiencing additional symptoms should seek immediate medical attention.

Any Clemson University students, faculty or staff arriving from Sierra Leone, Guinea, Liberia, or Nigeria should contact the Redfern Health Center at 864-656-3571 for further guidance.

CDC recommends avoiding nonessential travel to some areas or regions where EVD transmission is occurring. Up-to-date travel notices and information on the specific countries are available here.

For more information, visit the CDC and the Redfern Health Center websites.

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