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Advisory on the Ebola Virus

While only a few cases of Ebola have been confirmed in the United States and the chances of an outbreak are extremely small, Calvin College, like most colleges and universities across the United States, is ascribing to specific protocols that have been established by state health departments.

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For the past several months Calvin College officials have been closely monitoring the Ebola outbreak in West Africa and are being advised by national and international government agencies, such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) as well as local health officials, to ensure that the college has the proper protocols in place to keep students safe.

As part of that protocol, the college continues to encourage any student, faculty or staff member that has traveled recently to one of the affected countries (Sierra Leone, Guinea, Liberia) to report his or her travel. In addition, the college strongly recommends that any student, faculty or staff member who is planning on traveling to one of the affected countries during Christmas break or during Interim to report his or her travel plans as well. Students should contact Calvin’s Health Services department at 616-526-6187 for a phone consultation with one of the college’s clinicians to discuss screening, monitoring and precautions. Faculty and staff should contact Heather Chapman in Environmental Health and Occupational Safety at 734-776-6970.

The Ebola virus is not a food-borne, air-borne or water-borne illness. And nobody carrying the virus is contagious unless he or she is exhibiting symptoms like high fever, headache, joint and muscle aches, sore throat, weakness, stomach pain or lack of appetite. With this knowledge and the fact that there are detailed health advisories from the CDC and WHO regarding next steps, the college is confident that it is fully prepared for even the most remote risk.

Please contact the Health Services Office if you have questions at 616-526-6678.

For thorough information on the Ebola virus and its symptoms, visit the CDC website. Read a Q&A handout prepared by the CDC.


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