Ebola Virus

Information about Ebola virus for the Stanford community.

Last updated: February 24, 2016

For the latest information on the Ebola outbreak, please refer to the CDC Ebola Info website.  As of this update, Stanford currently has no travel restrictions to or from countries in West Africa.

Stanford personnel who are planning any international travel are strongly encouraged to check in and  register international travel plans with the Office of International Affairs. Registration of travel plans will help facilitate access to emergency assistance and follow up, if needed, while on university-related international travel.

Updated West Africa Travel Guidelines

Stanford University’s Infection Control Working Group continues to monitor the 2015 outbreak of Ebola Virus Disease and potential implications for campus personnel.  According to  the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), all three of the most affected countries—Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone—have now been declared free of Ebola transmission, although the risk of additional small outbreaks continues. In January 2016 the CDC issued updated recommendations for health care workers, laboratory workers, and researchers traveling to the United States from countries with former widespread transmission of Ebola (Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea).  The guidance and policy below for Stanford-related travel has been updated considering these CDC recommendations:

  • Stanford no longer restricts or prohibits Stanford-supported or -related travel by any community member to Guinea, Liberia or Sierra Leone.
  • Centers for Disease Control no longer recommends that US residents practice enhanced precautions when traveling to any of these three countries.

Although there is believed to be little risk of Ebola to travelers, the virus can persist in certain body fluids of people who have recovered from Ebola, including semen, ocular fluid, breast milk, and cerebrospinal fluid.  Therefore, there is an ongoing low risk of exposure to Ebola in these countries as small numbers of cases may continue to occur.

Travelers should, as usual, avoid contact with animals (such as bats or monkeys), or with raw or undercooked meat, and should not eat or handle bushmeat (wild animals hunted for food).

Faculty, staff and students returning from community outbreak countries:

CDC recommends active monitoring until 21 days after the last potential exposure for health care workers who cared for patients with Ebola while the patients were infectious, anyone who entered the patient care area (“hot zone”) of an Ebola treatment unit or other health care facility where patients with Ebola were treated, and laboratory workers who handled specimens from patients with Ebola before the specimens were inactivated.

Depending upon their risk of exposure in the affected country, those who fall under this monitoring should be able to go about their daily activities, such as being on campus and attending class. However, depending on the exposure risk assessment results, they may be asked by public health officials to limit their travel and public activities.

Stanford medical faculty who fall under this guidance should check with the Stanford Medicine Office of Emergency Management (650-723-0529) regarding hospital policy for patient contact upon return from one of the Ebola outbreak countries.

All Stanford campus individuals who are being monitored under the guidance above should also inform the respective campus health offices prior to their return to campus – Vaden Health Center for students, and the Stanford University Occupational Health Center for employees. Those living in university housing should discuss with university housing administrators about policies for staying in university housing during the monitoring period. Returning students, faculty and staff are expected to follow instructions provided during Entry Screening and by local or state health officials.

Stanford students: Notify Vaden Health Center
Robyn Tepper, MD, Medical Director
Clinic phone: (650) 498-2336; press 1 OR use the Vaden Patient portal to send a secure message
After-hours contact information: (650) 498-2336; press 1

Stanford faculty and staff: Notify Stanford University Occupational Health Center
Rich Wittman, MD, Medical Director
Clinic phone: (650) 725-5308
After-hours contact information: (650) 723-6227

Visitors to Campus from Countries of West Africa

There are currently no restrictions on visitors traveling to campus from any West Africa countries and individuals should be treated in every way as any other visitors to campus.

 

NOTE: Due to the ongoing and dynamic nature of the current outbreaks in some West Africa countries, this advisory may be updated as new information becomes available. Please check back periodically.