Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The University of Iowa outlined its preparedness for the Ebola virus in an email message to faculty, staff, and students the morning of Wednesday, Oct. 22.

At this time, the UI is monitoring the Ebola outbreak in West Africa and cases of the virus in the United States closely.

Our thoughts are with all those affected by this crisis.

To date, there are no documented cases of Ebola in Iowa. While the risk of an Ebola case in Iowa City or on campus remains extremely low, staff members at Student Health and Wellness (SHW) and the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics are tracking the situation with daily updates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization.

The UI Hospitals and Clinics is well equipped, and has implemented and tested strict safety protocols that are also used by SHW. Others are planning for general university operations in the remote case in which an Ebola diagnosis has an effect on our operations.

There are no university trips or courses planned in Guinea, Liberia or Sierra Leone. The CDC has issued a travel warning and is discouraging travel to these countries.

As a reminder, our policy requires all students, faculty, and staff to register university-related trips before departure. This policy helps us keep you informed while ensuring your health and safety abroad.

If you think you may have been exposed to Ebola in the last 21 days through travel to Western Africa or contact with a known patient, CALL UI Hospitals and Clinics immediately at 319-353-7250 and report your symptoms. You will be advised where to go and next steps to take.

For the most current information on the Ebola outbreak in Africa, see these links:

CDC Latest Information on Ebola Outbreak in West Africa

CDC Questions and Answers on Ebola

The UI has emergency plans for Ebola preparedness in place, and we will continue to provide the community with updates.

Please keep in mind that while the risk of Ebola is low, influenza is a serious health risk that is common this time of year. If you haven’t received your yearly influenza vaccine, they are available through the University Employee Health Clinic through Dec. 31, without an appointment. The vaccines are also available at SHW by appointment or on a walk in basis and there are several influenza vaccine clinics this week.

You are encouraged to be immunized to protect yourself, your family, and those you encounter from a potentially serious illness.