Ebola Screening Greets Some Arriving College Students

Ebola Screening Greets Some Arriving College Students
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    As colleges and universities across the nation begin the new academic year, some students must undergo an extra health check.

    That check is for the ebola virus.


Students from West Africa subject to a special check.

As colleges and universities across the nation begin the new academic year, some students must undergo an extra health check. That check is for the ebola virus.

Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever

With thousands of people in West Africa infected by the deadly virus, school officials are taking precautions to ensure that students from certain countries, including Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone, are properly screened according to the New York Daily News. The latest Ebola outbreak is the deadliest one yet with more than 1,500 deaths reported. The mortality rate for the disease is as high as 90 percent.

Officially known as ebola hemorrhagic fever, the illness is thought to spread only through personal contact, such as the sharing of saliva, sweat or semen. Signs and symptoms of the disease include fever, diarrhea, or vomiting with or without bleeding. Symptoms may occur anywhere between 2 and 21 days after exposure to the virus. Only those that have symptoms can spread the disease to others.

Centers for Disease Control

The Centers for Disease Control has issued warnings, but has not offered recommendations for colleges welcoming students from affected areas this fall. That has not stopped state health departments in North Dakota and South Carolina from telling administrators to be on the look out.

Beyond the two states, the Daily News reports that some universities are “drafting their own precautionary plans.” The American College Health Association (ACHA) has recommended its members to revise emergency plans along with keeping tabs on where students travel. Isolation exam rooms should be used, wherever available.

Enrolled West African Students

More than 10,000 college students from affected African countries are currently enrolled in America’s colleges and universities. About 96 percent come from Nigeria alone, a country that only recently reported Ebola cases, but has successfully contained the virus. At least so far. The extra precautions colleges are taking is checking students’ temperatures and privately discussing Ebola. The screening is part of a college-wide immunization paperwork and tuberculosis screening common nearly everywhere.

Even as colleges check for Ebola, diagnosing the virus is not an easy task. The earliest symptoms include red eyes and skin rash, what commonly occur in other illnesses according to the CDC. That is why it is important for screening to determine where students were in the world over the past few days or weeks. If a student is suspected of carrying the virus, laboratory tests will be conducted. Strict isolation will follow for those that test positive for Ebola.

See AlsoWhat You Need To Know About Meningitis


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Categories: Campus News