Playing it Safe: Liberty University Will Test Students Coming from Ebola-Plagued Regions
With the World Health Organization reporting the impact of the Ebola outbreak has been vastly underestimated and will require “extraordinary measures, on a massive scale” it makes sense to look at Virginia college students who have come from or traveled to and from areas where Ebola may be.
At Liberty University, Doctor Robert Layne, Director of the Masters of Public Health Program, says there are 17 students from Nigeria, where only 15 clinical cases have been confirmed and the odds of the 17 here being in contact with the infected 15 there are miniscule. However, “Just on the outside chance that somebody might have known somebody that unknowingly exposed them we're asking students if the traveled to any of these areas if they would be kind enough to just monitor their temperatures and then report it to the administration."
Doctor Lane says that students who have vacationed, gone on mission trips or study abroad will be assessed based on their travel.
"Those that have a really high risk we would not let come anyway because they don't get on the airplane in the first place. Those in the next highest risk are people who have been in the area where there might be infection. We'll watch them much more closely, people who are in the country, probably not at risk, and then those that have been here longer than three weeks we don't have to worry about because it has a three week incubation period. "
Ebola is not contagious until the first symptoms appear - which includes an elevated temperature. Lane says if no symptoms appear by day 21 after exposure to then, "you're not going to get it."