Dr. Jeffrey Goldstein, director of health services, sent this message by email to the campus community today.

As you know, there is an international concern about an outbreak of the Ebola HF (hemorrhagic fever) virus, a severe, often fatal infectious disease. The Bailey Health Center is staying closely connected to leading public health resources to provide the most up-to-date information available on the epidemic. The College has been in contact with a small number of students known to be residing in the affected countries. Members of the Lafayette community that are returning from Sierra Leone, Guinea, Liberia, and Nigeria should contact the Bailey Health Center at 610-330-5001. Although there have been no reported cases in the U.S. of transmission of Ebola from one person to another, it is important to remain vigilant. Students, visitors, faculty, and staff that have recently traveled from Western Africa and plan to be on campus, are asked to schedule an appointment at the Health Center to provide guidance about precautions.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is warning against any nonessential travel to the nations affected by the outbreak. If you have recently been in Western Africa, or you are planning to depart from this region, be advised that symptoms may appear anywhere from 2-21 days from exposure. The Ebola HF virus is spread by direct contact with a symptomatic person’s blood or bodily fluid or with objects contaminated by these fluids. Travelers and residents returning from Western Africa who become ill with flu-like symptoms (fever, weakness, muscle pain, diarrhea, vomiting, stomach pain, headache, and sore throat) should immediately seek medical care and call the Bailey Health Center so that proper precautions can be arranged.

Lafayette College continues to actively monitor the Ebola outbreak, and adhere to interim guidance and recommendations from the CDC (www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola) and other health agencies. The Health Center will continue to communicate with the campus to provide updates on the outbreak and share information to keep our community safe.