Travelers at risk for Ebola Virus asked to contact Student Health Center

Western Today staff

The following message regarding the Ebola Virus was sent to the Western Washington University campus community today by Dr. Emily Gibson, director of Western's Student Health Center:

Dear WWU Campus Community,

The Ebola Virus outbreak in several countries in West Africa remains an ongoing concern for the World Health Organization, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) as well as several humanitarian organizations working to contain and stop the spread of the disease.  The CDC and the Washington State Department of Health have issued recommendations to Colleges and Universities regarding travel to and from the affected countries.  In light of our fall quarter beginning September 22 and our Communicable Disease Reporting Policy (reprinted below), I ask that anyone in our campus community, whether student, staff or faculty who has had recent travel within the past 30 days to/from Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea, Nigeria, Senegal or the Democratic Republic of Congo contact me as soon as possible.   If recommendations change as the outbreak expands, I`ll update the campus community by email.

See this link for CDC recommendations: http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/page/advice-for-colleges-universities-and-students-about-ebola-in-west-africa

Emily Gibson, M.D.
Director, WWU Student Health Center
Desk 360-650-7328   Cell 360-650-1690

Annual Policy Notification: Reporting Communicable Diseases

Western is committed to the ongoing health and safety of our campus community.  Students and employees who know, or who have reason to believe, that they are infected with a communicable disease have an ethical and legal obligation to conduct themselves in ways that minimize exposure in order to protect themselves and others and to inform the appropriate university administrator. 

Students should contact the Student Health Center or the Office of the Vice President for Enrollment and Student Services.  Administrators, faculty or staff members who become aware of a potential or known condition involving a student should contact Dr. Emily Gibson, Western`s Medical Director. 

Employees unable to attend work due to a known or suspected communicable disease should contact both their health care provider and report their absence to their supervisor.  Employees are encouraged to also contact Human Resources for guidance regarding disclosure of a communicable disease and for assistance working with their department with any necessary leave or restrictions.  Human Resources will notify the Medical Director of any suspected or known communicable diseases.

Any employee, student, prospective student, volunteer or visitor who knowingly arrives from a country outside the United States that has been issued a Travel Health Warning by the Centers for Disease Control must contact the Student Health Center`s Medical Director for medical clearance before being allowed on campus to attend classes, work or other activities.

Individuals with communicable diseases shall be excluded from enrollment or employment or restricted in their access to university facilities, programs or services if a medically based judgment, in an individual case, establishes that exclusion or restriction is necessary to ensure the health and safety of the infected individual and/or other members of the university community. 

Click here for a complete review of this policy.

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Monday, September 8, 2014 - 2:38pm