Ebola Virus in Africa: Updated Travel Advisories

Monday, October 6, 2014, 1:00 p.m.

The University is closely monitoring information and recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, as well as other reliable sources, regarding the Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa. The Columbia community shares in the grief of this tragedy.

Due to the unprecedented number of cases in Liberia, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the CDC has issued a level 3 travel warning for these countries, as well as neighboring countries, and is continuing to discourage all non-essential travel.   

The safety of our students is our greatest concern. As such, the University is closely evaluating all planned sponsored trips to this region in the coming months. To the extent these trips can be postponed until a more adequate and sustainable public health response is in place in the affected countries, the University is strongly encouraging this. 

For all University affiliates who travel to Liberia, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, or the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the University is asking for adherence to the following protocol:

Prior to your trip, schedule an appointment with your medical provider.  Students should schedule an appointment with their respective student health service:

The purpose of these visits will be to make sure you have all the necessary information you need to stay safe, including emergency medical support.

Following your trip, you are asked to not return to school or work until you have spoken with a healthcare professional.  Students should call their respective health service, ask to speak with a medical provider and inform them medical clearance is required to return to class.

Further recommendations from the CDC for travelers to the affected region are as follows:

“Persons returning from an affected area but have not had direct contact with the body fluids of symptomatic infected persons or animals, or objects that have been contaminated with body fluids, should monitor their health for 10 days. Those with a potential exposure should monitor their health for 21 days post exposure. Regardless, any traveler who becomes ill, even if only a fever, should consult a health-care provider immediately.“

For more information please go the following link:
http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/index.html?s_cid=cdc_homepage_feature_001