Though the Federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) considers Ebola to currently pose little risk to the population of the United States, there have been confirmed cases here, including one in New York City as of Oct. 23. Likewise, individuals who have recently traveled in regions with active Ebola outbreaks may be at risk for exposure.
Given these facts, the University requires any student, faculty, or staff member who has recently visited the affected regions, or who believes he or she may otherwise been exposed to Ebola, to call the University Health Center office prior to entering any Fordham campus or housing area: (718) 817-4160, or after business hours, the Office of Public Safety at (718) 817-2222, and ask to speak with the duty supervisor.
As of October 24, 2014, Fordham is barring students, faculty, and staff from traveling on University business or study to three countries: Sierra Leone, Guinea, and Liberia. This policy mirrors CDC Health Travel Warnings. The Ebola outbreak is evolving and the list of affected areas may change. For an updated list of countries visit: http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola (additional countries may be added to the proscribed list as the CDC updates its alerts).
The same cautions apply to members of the Fordham community traveling on personal business to areas where Ebola outbreaks are underway, and to hosting travelers from those regions: anyone considering doing so should contact the University Health Center in advance.
Ebola symptoms include: fever, headache, joint/muscle aches, weakness, diarrhea, vomiting, stomach pain/lack of appetite. The chances of getting Ebola are extremely low unless a person has had direct contact with the blood or body fluids (e.g., saliva, urine) of an Ebola infected person or animal, or with objects that were contaminated with blood or body fluids. See the CDC guidelines for colleges and universities.
Since the occurrence of confirmed cases of Ebola in the United States, Fordham has put in place more robust protocols to ensure that anyone with possible exposure to Ebola is quarantined off-campus. The University follows New York City Department of Health protocols for monitoring and managing health risks related to Ebola and other infectious diseases, and is in daily contact with Department of Health officials. University officials are also monitoring the situation via CDC and U.S. Department of State websites and advisories.
Again, medical authorities believe the likelihood of a widespread Ebola outbreak in the United States is very low, and there is no reason to believe any Fordham student, faculty, or staff members are at risk. In sharing these guidelines, the University is acting with an abundance of caution. Anyone with questions regarding Ebola, or the University’s policies, should contact the University Health Center.
Kathleen M. Malara MSN, FNP
Executive Director, University Health Services
NOTE: This is an updated version of the communication sent to the University community on August 18, 2014.