Mason Closely Monitoring Ebola Outbreak

Posted: October 18, 2014 at 12:02 pm

Dear Patriot:

George Mason University continues to monitor information about the Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa, and other parts of the world, including a few isolated cases in the United States. While the risks of contracting Ebola in the U.S. remain extremely low, the university is closely following developments in Atlanta, Maryland and Nebraska.

At this time, no students, faculty, or staff of George Mason have reported contact with any persons suspected to be infected with the Ebola virus.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. State Department maintain warnings against nonessential travel to Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia. For this reason, George Mason continues to restrict all nonessential university travel for students, faculty, and staff to the affected countries. Those who are considering travel to this region must consult with the Environmental Health and Safety Office at 703-993-8448 or safety@gmu.edu.

The CDC is also taking steps to prevent the spread of the disease. It is limiting travel from affected regions and has stepped up screening at U.S. airports. However, anyone who has concerns should be aware of the symptoms and modes of transmission.

Ebola requires close contact with the bodily fluids an individual who is symptomatic (e.g., fever, headache, muscle pain, stomach pain, vomiting, and diarrhea). Symptoms may appear anywhere from 2-21 days after exposure to the virus, though 8-10 days is most common. Be advised, the Flu shares many of the same symptoms as Ebola. As a matter of precaution, all students and employees are encouraged to get a flu shot and exercise good personal hygiene to prevent the spread of all communicable diseases.

Students with medical questions may contact Student Health Services at 703-993-2831 and ask to speak to a nurse who will advise them of appropriate care. Faculty and staff with medical questions should contact their primary care physician.  In addition, each of Mason’s health insurance providers has a 24/7 nurse line available: Anthem (COVA) 1-800-337 4770; Aetna (COVA HealthAware) 1-800-556-1555; Kaiser Permanente 1-800-777-7904.

For additional resources and information, please visit the CDC’s and State Department’s websites:

http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/

http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/english/alertswarnings.html

For a map of affected regions please visit: http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/resources/distribution-map-guinea-outbreak.html

Sincerely,

S. David Wu

Provost and Executive Vice President

Jennifer (J.J.) Davis

Senior Vice President, Administration and Finance