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University at Buffalo statement on Ebola virus and campus health

Release Date: August 29, 2014

The University at Buffalo has released the following statement on the Ebola virus and campus health.

· The University at Buffalo is committed to the health of our students and to the health of our entire campus community.  Members of the UB community share the international concern about the outbreak of Ebola in West Africa. The university has instituted protocols, in accordance with guidelines provided by the Centers for Disease Control, to ensure the ongoing health of our community.

· At the campus level, we are monitoring the situation, but we don’t feel there’s any reason for the UB community to be alarmed.

· For the past several years, UB has examined the health records of all students prior to the start of the semester to ensure their vaccinations are up-to-date.

· For all incoming international students, this protocol was continued.   But, in an abundance of caution, the university conducted additional health screenings of students entering the university from Ebola-affected countries in West Africa.  It is important to note that students travelling from West Africa will already have undergone a thorough screening by the airlines.

· When they checked in at the university about two weeks ago, students from Ebola-affected countries in West Africa were directed to a registered nurse for a health screening, using CDC and county health department guidelines.  All of the students appeared healthy, and no further health screening was required.

· Our records indicate 21 students from Nigeria are enrolled at the university this fall.  Fortunately, Nigeria is not experiencing a severe outbreak.

· As the university completes the first full week of the fall semester, there have been no reports of illnesses that are out of the ordinary.  If we determine that further screening of a student is required during the semester, the university will follow protocols provided by the county health department.  

· In advance of the fall semester, UB Student Health Services partnered with UB Campus Living (on-campus housing) to prepare their staff and enhance their understanding of the illness, its symptoms and the campus response.

· We are emphasizing that the Ebola virus is not typically shared by casual contact between roommates, and there is very low risk for spread of the virus at the university, in Buffalo and in the U.S.   Additionally, a thorough review by the university has indicated that no UB faculty or staff members have been identified as having recently been in West African areas impacted by the outbreak.

· While much of this communication took place on a one-to-one basis in preparation for the start of the new academic year, the university’s Student Health Services office prepared campus-wide information for students, faculty and staff to provide them with facts about the Ebola virus.

· To help ensure that our incoming students and parents are aware of the steps UB has taken to ensure the health of the campus, this information was posted on UB’s public website at http://health.buffalo.edu/ebola.php. This information includes an FAQ for addressing questions about UB's preparedness and the Ebola virus: http://health.buffalo.edu/ebolafaq.php.

 

Media Contact Information

John DellaContrada
Assistant Vice President for Media Relations
Tel: 716-645-4601 (mobile: 716-361-3006)
dellacon@buffalo.edu
Twitter: @UBNewsSource