IUP’s Center for Health and Well-Being continues to monitor the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. As new information becomes available, updates will be posted on the IUP Health Service website.
If you are planning to travel outside of the U.S., the Center for Health and Well-Being encourages you to check Centers for Disease Control (CDC) travel alerts and
information before traveling.
CDC continues to issue Level 3 travel warnings for Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia recommending that individuals avoid all non-essential travel to these areas. IUP has temporarily suspended approval for university-related travel to these countries.
If you do travel to one of these countries in West Africa and you develop a fever or other Ebola-related symptoms, or are believed to be at risk for developing Ebola, you may not be able to depart from that foreign country until it can be determined you
are not infected. Any travelers from outbreak areas will also be diverted to one of five U.S. airports monitoring all arrivals from these countries where you will again be screened. If you have any signs or symptoms, you may be detained. When you
return to Pennsylvania, you will undergo monitoring by the Pennsylvania Department of Health for 21 days. Depending on your level of potential exposure, you may also be required to isolate yourself for up to 21 days. For more information, contact
the Health Service at 724-357-2550.
Ebola virus disease (also known as Ebola hemorrhagic fever) is a rare and deadly disease. It is spread by direct contact with an infected person’s blood or body fluids. It is also spread by contact with contaminated objects or infected animals, including
raw meat. Ebola virus disease is not spread through the air, water, or food used in the United States.
Symptoms include fever, headache, joint and muscle aches, sore throat, and weakness, followed by diarrhea, vomiting, and stomach pain. Skin rash, red eyes, and internal and external bleeding may be seen in some people. Since this virus requires contact
with blood or bodily fluid, including sweat, transmission is rare. The disease is transmitted only when symptoms are present.
You are not at risk of contracting this infection:
Since late summer, university officials and multiple community health care providers, including Indiana Regional Medical Center and Indiana County Emergency Management, have been working together in case a person in Indiana County were to become infected
with the Ebola virus.
Currently there are no students from Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia, the countries impacted by the Ebola outbreak, attending IUP.
It is unlikely that a member of the university community would be exposed to the Ebola virus.
Nevertheless, IUP personnel have worked closely with other members of the Indiana health care community to be prepared if this would occur.
The Pennsylvania Department of Health is monitoring travelers who have returned to Pennsylvania from Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia.
If you were exposed to a person sick with Ebola more than 21 days ago, you are no longer considered at risk for Ebola. If fewer than 21 days has passed, contact the Department of Health at 1-877-PA-HEALTH. You will be instructed how to monitor your health
and the health of anyone traveling with you for 21 days after being in the outbreak area. IUP students and employees also should contact IUP’s Health Service at 724-357-2550.
The CDC has released examples of levels of risk for exposure to the Ebola virus. You can find this in their fact sheet, Monitoring Symptoms and Controlling Movement to Stop Spread of Ebola.
Being in the same room for a brief period of time (without direct contact) with a person who has symptoms of Ebola.
Close contact with a person with symptoms of Ebola, such as in a household or hospital. Close contact means being within three feet of a person with Ebola for a long time without wearing personal protective equipment (gloves, masks, gowns, etc.).
Direct contact with the infected body fluids of a person with Ebola.
The IUP Health Service has stocked personal protective equipment (PPE) and practiced using it. IUP Health Service medical personnel will screen anyone seeking care at the Health Service who has fever or other symptoms as a result of having traveled in
the outbreak countries or other risks. IUP Health Service health care providers monitor the CDC (U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) website for updated information and coordinate with the local health care community, including the Indiana
Regional Medical Center and the Pennsylvania Department of Health.
It is the university’s practice to require members of the IUP community who travel internationally to obtain the approval of their division’s vice president and to coordinate travel through the IUP Travel Office. Until further notice, divisional vice
presidents will temporarily suspend approval for university-related travel to Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia.
Until the CDC lifts the travel warning to these countries, educational activities, including teaching, research, or service, will be postponed. Educational activities include, for example, faculty, staff, and students who are involved in study abroad
courses, internships, field study, conferences, research endeavors (funded as a result of university affiliations), and service activities related to academic pursuits.
CDC has issued travel warnings for Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia to avoid all non-essential travel to these areas. Traveling to these countries is very risky and can be difficult. These countries are screening for potential illness as you enter and
leave these areas. You may find that if you develop a fever or other Ebola-related symptoms, or are believed to be at-risk for developing Ebola, you may not be able to travel out of the country until it can be determined you are not infected. Travelers
from outbreak areas will also be diverted to one of five U.S. airports monitoring all arrivals from these countries; you will be screened when you arrive at one of these airports. If you have any symptoms, you may be detained.
When you return to the United States you will undergo monitoring by the Pennsylvania Department of Health for 21 days. Depending on your level of potential exposure to the Ebola virus, you also may be required to isolate yourself for up to 21 days.
Do not travel to these countries.
Learn about Ebola and help others to understand the disease. This reduces unneeded fear and possible discrimination toward people who are from these areas.
CNN offered the names of organizations that are providing support to these countries. You can read about their work at the CNN website: Ebola Outbreak: Ways to help.
To learn more about Ebola, CDC guidance, prevention, and intervention related to contracting the Ebola virus, refer to the following: