Students, faculty directed to campus health center amid Ebola outbreak

Following a query from Fordham Daily, the Office of Public Safety sent an email to the campus community Tuesday morning, urging students and faculty who have recently traveled to the parts of Africa impacted by an Ebola outbreak to contact the University Health Center before returning to campus.

“The Federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) considers Ebola to currently pose little risk to the population of the United States, but individuals who have recently traveled in the regions where Ebola cases are occurring may be at risk for exposure,”  said Kathleen Malara, executive director of Fordham’s Health Service.

She added: “With that in mind, Fordham asks that any student, faculty, or staff member who has recently visited the affected areas to contact the appropriate University Health Center office upon their return, and prior to entry into Fordham housing, classes, or on-campus work.”

The email makes clear: “Members of the Fordham community who have traveled to the affected regions and experience any symptoms within 21 days of their return, including a fever of 100 degrees or higher, should not return to Fordham housing, nor attend class nor work.”

Bob Howe, a spokesman for the university, confirmed that Fordham students are currently studying in South Africa — “but that’s 3,500 miles from the nearest outbreak,” he said. Fordham has not announced any changes to future study abroad programs at this time, and declined to say whether it was planning to do so.

Kathleen “Ellie” Frazier, a student in the Graduate Program in International Political Economy & Development, is the only Fordham student who is known to have been in the area of the recent Ebola outbreak.

She was stationed in a rural area of Sierra Leone as an intern at Timap for Justice, the country’s largest paralegal network, according to a Fordham press release. As of Aug. 1, Frazier had safely relocated to South Africa and was on her way back to New York, Fordham said.