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Delaware Health Alert Network #336

September 10, 2014 10:44 am

Health Alert


This advisory is to provide recommendations to healthcare providers and administrators in the university/college setting that may have students or faculty arriving from regions in Africa currently affected by the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) outbreak. As always, campuses should continue to welcome guests and visitors as they would at any other time. Campuses should also consider providing general educational materials regarding Ebola, including symptoms, to students and staff. These are available from the CDC website

EVD is a potentially deadly disease caused by infection with the Ebola virus. The 2014 Ebola outbreak is the largest Ebola outbreak in history, with over 4,269 cases and over 2,288 deaths to date. Currently, the outbreak has impacted 5 West African countries: Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone and Senegal but does not pose a significant risk to the United States. Cases have also been reported from the Democratic Republic of Congo, but these cases are not linked to the West Africa Outbreak.


It is advised that providers conduct an initial screening for clinical symptoms and EVD exposure risks on all students and faculty who are returning to the US from regions where EVD transmission is occurring.

While Ebola poses little risk to the general US population, health care providers are advised to be alert for signs and symptoms of Ebola in individuals who have a recent travel history (within 21 days) to an area identified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as the Ebola affected areas ( or who have had contact with a person infected with Ebola within the last 21 days.

Individuals arriving within 21 days from travel to the Ebola affected area should be screened for any symptoms meeting EVD clinical criteria which include:

  • Fever greater than 101.5°F (38.6°C) and any of these additional symptoms:
    • Severe headache
    • Muscle pain
    • Nausea/Vomiting
    • Diarrhea
    • Abdominal pain, or
    • Unexplained hemorrhage, bleeding or bruising.

For any persons with a consistent travel history and fever (≥101.5°F) and any of the above symptoms, health providers should immediately report to the Delaware Division of Public Health at 888-295-5156 (Monday-Friday: 8:30 a.m.- 4:30 p.m.) or 302-744-4700 (after 4:30 p.m., weekends, and holidays).

The Delaware Division of Public Health does not recommend that colleges and universities isolate or quarantine students, faculty, or staff based on travel history alone.  However, colleges and universities should identify students, faculty, and staff who are arriving on their campuses within 21 days of return from the Ebola affected countries and should conduct a risk assessment using the tool provided with this announcement.


All students, faculty, and staff who have been in the Ebola affected countries within the past 21 days and are NOT sick should be given instructions to monitor their health for 21 days (see steps below).

Anyone with a potential exposure to Ebola should receive thorough education about immediately reporting symptoms and staying away from other people only if symptoms develop. With guidance from student health services at colleges/universities, students and staff arriving in the United States from areas affected by Ebola should monitor their health using the following steps:

Monitor health for 21 days:

  • Check your body temperature daily (every morning and evening).
  • Watch for other Ebola symptoms: severe headache, muscle pain, nausea/vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain, or unexplained bleeding or bruising.
  1. Students or staff who remain healthy with no fever after 21 days are NOT at risk for Ebola and can stop monitoring their temperature.
  2. If a staff member or student has a fever or develops a fever during the 21 day observation period, he or she should consult a health-care provider immediately or contact the Delaware Division of Public Health at 888-295-5156 (Monday-Friday: 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.) or 302-744-4700 (after 4:30 p.m., weekends, and holidays). The person should tell the provider about the symptoms and recent travel before going to the office or emergency room to decrease the potential risk of spreading the virus.
  3. Students or staff who become ill more than 21 days after arriving from an Ebola affected country or city DO NOT need to be evaluated for Ebola.

An attached screening tool is provided and can be utilized to assist with the screening process. Contact the Delaware Division of Public Health at 888-295-5156 (Monday-Friday: 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.) or 302-744-4700 (after 4:30 pm, weekends, and holidays) if your institution needs further assistance or guidance regarding Ebola.

Prevention Recommendations for Traveling and International Students or Staff

At this time the CDC recommends avoiding nonessential travel to some areas or regions where EVD transmission is occurring. You can receive up-to-date travel notices and information on the specified countries at If an individual must travel to these regions, please make sure to advise the following:

  • Practice careful hygiene. Avoid contact with blood and body fluids.
  • Do not handle items that may have come in contact with an infected person’s blood or body fluids.
  • Avoid funeral or burial rituals that require handling the body of someone who has died from Ebola.
  • Avoid contact with wild animals or with raw meat.
  • Avoid hospitals where Ebola patients are being treated. The US Embassy or consulate is often able to provide advice on facilities that are suitable for any medical needs.

Additional Resources


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