We Can Keep FSU Safe if Ebola Happens in Florida
Leon County Health Department: (850) 606-8150
If you have recently travelled, are currently travelling or plan to travel to West Africa:
Updated 10/28/14 9:00AM
Florida State University requires that anyone travelling on official university-related business to a country with a CDC Level 3 Travel Health Warning (Sierra Leone, Liberia, Guinea) or CDC Level 2 Travel Health Alert for Ebola (Democratic Republic of Congo) must contact the FSU Emergency Management Director, David Bujak, at email@example.com or (850) 644-7055 for guidance and monitoring prior to departure.
Florida State University requests that anyone affiliated with the university (student, faculty, staff, visiting scholars, et al) who has travelled, is currently travelling in or plans to travel to a country with a CDC Level 3 Travel Health Warning (Sierra Leone, Liberia, Guinea) or CDC Level 2 Travel Health Alert for Ebola (Democratic Republic of Congo) on a personal basis to contact the FSU Emergency Management Director, David Bujak, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (850) 644-7055 for guidance and monitoring prior to returning to campus.
Other Higher Education Travel Related Questions
Is it safe to travel to countries where the Ebola outbreaks are occurring? What should we do if we have study abroad, foreign exchange, research, or other education-related travel planned to these countries?
CDC has posted Warning – Level 3 Travel Notices recommending that people avoid non-essential travel to Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone at this time. We advise that education-related travel to these countries be postponed until further notice. CDC has posted an Alert – Level 2 Travel Notice for Democratic Republic of Congo with recommendations for enhanced precautions to help travelers protect themselves and help prevent the spread of Ebola. These recommendations may change as the situation evolves. In the event that the situation worsens in Nigeria, CDC may recommend against non-essential travel to Nigeria. Colleges and universities should consider this possibility when deciding whether to proceed with education-related travel plans in Nigeria. The US Department of State takes action to protect US citizens who travel outside the US through a number of diplomatic channels. However, in the event of an outbreak, any country has the right to enact measures (such as quarantine of exposed people, isolation of sick people, and screening of people entering or exiting the country for sickness or disease exposure) to protect its citizens and to prevent the spread of an outbreak to other countries. These measures may infringe on the individual rights of those who appear to be infected with or exposed to a disease of public health concern—including visiting US citizens. The ability of the U.S. Department of State to intervene in such situations is limited. See the US Department of State’s Emergency Resources External Web Site Icon page for more information. Visit the CDC Travel Health Notices page for the most up-to-date guidance and recommendations for each country, including information about health screening of incoming and outgoing travelers and restrictions on travel within countries.
Why is CDC recommending that U.S. residents avoid traveling to certain countries?
CDC’s recommendations against non-essential travel, including education-related travel, are intended to help control the outbreak and prevent continued spread in two ways: to protect the health of US residents who would be traveling to the affected areas and to enable the governments of countries where Ebola outbreaks are occurring to respond most effectively to contain the outbreak. The health care systems of countries where the Ebola outbreak is occurring are being severely strained as the outbreak grows. Even if students and faculty are not planning to be in contact with people who are sick with Ebola (such as in health care settings), other safety factors related to their travel need to be considered. For example, a traveler injured in a car accident may have to visit a hospital where Ebola patients are being cared for, which could put the person at risk. Also, because the health care system is severely strained, resources may not be available to treat both routine emergency health needs among visiting US citizens.
How long is the outbreak going to last? Will it be safe to travel in the spring semester?
Although it is impossible to predict with complete certainty, it could take a minimum of six months to get the outbreak under control. The ministries of health in the countries where the Ebola outbreaks are happening are working in collaboration with the World Health Organization, CDC, and others to respond. However, due to the complicated nature of the outbreak, these countries face many challenges. Universities should consider the likelihood that the outbreak could continue for several months and that CDC’s recommendation to avoid non-essential travel may remain in place for as long as the outbreak lasts. This might mean not traveling to the affected area during the spring semester if the outbreak is still ongoing.
Is education-related travel to other countries in the West Africa region safe?
At this time, there is no risk of contracting Ebola in other countries in the West Africa region where Ebola cases have not been reported. However the situation could change rapidly. To stay up to date, check reliable news sources, stay in touch with your university’s local contacts, and check for updated information on CDC’s Traveler’s Health website.