Open Letter To University of Utah Community
We are closely monitoring the events related to the ongoing Ebola outbreak in West Africa. The spread of Ebola virus disease is a global problem that could affect the health and safety of our employees and communities. In the United States, your likelihood of being exposed to or being infected by Ebola virus is extremely low. Ebola virus is not spread through the air or casual contact; infection requires direct contact with the blood or secretions of a person who is ill. The main risk factor for these diseases is direct contact with another person who is sick. Public health authorities are now actively monitoring all travelers entering the United States from countries affected by the Ebola outbreak.
Travel to certain parts of the world is not itself a risk factor. But if you were involved in direct patient care or had contact with patients in specific countries, you should monitor yourself for symptoms and contact your health provider in these circumstances:
For Ebola virus, if you traveled to these countries in West Africa (Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia) or had contact with a patient known to have Ebola virus disease within the last 21 days AND have a fever greater than 100.4°F, headache, weakness, abdominal symptoms, muscle pain or bleeding.
For additional information, see the CDC website on Ebola.
If you have traveled in these countries and are having symptoms, you should remain at home and contact your local health care provider (or for students, the Student Health Center at 801-581-6431) for further instructions regarding evaluation. You may also call the University of Utah Health Travel Clinic at 801-581-2898.
We will continue to monitor the situation nationally and internationally and provide you with further information as it becomes available.
Sankar Swaminathan, MD
Division Chief, Infectious Diseases
University of Utah Health