RELEASE: Official Nyack Statement on Ebola

Posted by Deborah.Walker on Monday October 20, 2014

Ebola Virus Disease Information - Week of Monday, October 20, 2014:

In consultation with the World Health Organization and The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Nyack College is monitoring the Ebola virus that began in Guinea, West Africa in March 2014.

There are no cases of Ebola within our campus community. However, as a precaution, Nyack College is communicating with all students, faculty and staff to convey the CDC’s recommendation to avoid nonessential travel to the affected countries as determined by the CDC. Nyack College is not offering any Global Service-Learning (GSL) programs to these countries. The GSL program to Burkina Faso in January 2015 has been canceled.

While some cases have been reported in the United States, there have been no reported cases in Rockland County or New York City. Information about the Ebola virus and the areas affected is available on the CDC website.
What is Ebola?

Ebola is a virus that has five viral species.  Each species is named after the country or area where it was first discovered.  Ebola was first discovered in 1976 near the Ebola River in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. 

What are the symptoms of Ebola?

Fever (greater than 100°F)
Severe headache
Muscle pain
Abdominal (stomach) pain
Unexplained hemorrhage (bleeding or bruising)

Symptoms may appear anywhere from 2 to 21 days after exposure to Ebola, but the average is 8 to 10 days.

How do you get Ebola?

Body fluids of a person who is sick with or has died from Ebola.  Body fluids include: blood, vomit, urine, feces, sweat, semen, saliva for example. Ebola is not an airborne disease.
Objects contaminated with the virus. For example, eating utensils, needles, medical equipment.
From an infected individual only when they are exhibiting symptoms such as a fever.

What is the treatment for Ebola?

Currently there is no treatment.  Symptom support through good nutrition and intravenous fluids has been the most successful.

Traveling Domestically and Internationally - Current International Students

Between the Rockland Campus and Manhattan Campus, Nyack College has less than a 1% population of students that are African nationals, and many of them have not returned to their home country since starting classes at Nyack College. However, all students attending Nyack College with an F-1 Visa are required to request permission from the designated school officials to return to their home country. Permission to students from West Africa will be weighted carefully given current conditions in their home country and the CDC’s recommendations.

Travel Limitations

Nyack students, faculty, and staff may not travel for study abroad, research, internships, service, conferences, presentations, teaching, performances, recruiting or athletic competitions in the West African nations under CDC travel warnings (the list may change, so see CDC website for countries covered by current travel advisories). The GSL program to Burkina Faso in January 2015 has been canceled.

Travel for personal reasons to countries under CDC travel warnings is strongly discouraged.

Hosting visitors from countries under CDC travel warnings for personal or Nyack-related purposes is strongly discouraged.

Recommendations for Travel Arrangements

Inherent in travel come delays, security checks, and possible contact with other ill passengers.  In the last months, weeks and days there have been new developments and differing messages regarding the spread and severity of Ebola in the US. Most travel itineraries have no or low risk of being exposed to Ebola.  However, here are recommendations that can assist the campus community in traveling safely and staying healthy while traveling.

Health Services recommends that all travelers observe the following general hygiene practices:

Maintain good personal and environmental hygiene, including frequent hand washing with soap and water.
Avoid close contact with ill persons and especially with blood and body fluids, including items that may have come in contact with blood or body fluids.

Travel etiquette

Currently numerous domestic and international airports are screening individuals for fever and travel itineraries.  You should be ready for delays. 
Ensure that you have contact information for the people that you may be meeting so as to warn them of your delay.
Ensure that your phone has enough battery for these long delays.
Make sure that you have all of your travel documents in order and up to date so as not to deter your travel plans even more.
If you have a chronic disease, such as diabetes make sure that you have medication and food with you in case of elongated delays.
Ebola is a serious disease.  Authorities take it seriously.  It is extremely inappropriate to make light of the situation while standing in a security line or on the airplane.  You may find your travel plans delayed even further.
If you are ill, especially with a fever of greater than 100oF, it is inappropriate for you to travel.  As much as you may want to get to your final destination, you put not only yourself at risk, but also other passengers with your illness.

Return travel:

Although the risk of transmission during air travel is low, students, faculty and staff who return to campus following international travel should be aware that travelers from countries classified as Category 1 may be detained at the US borders and should check current policies related to their travel by asking their travel agent or referring to the US Department of Travel.

If you return from a domestic or international destination and are experiencing fever, diarrhea, cough, vomiting you must visit your health provider’s office.  If you have traveled to a Category 1 country or have family and friends that have, it is required that you report to one of the below departments.  It is best that you inform us via phone or email before you come to the office so that we serve you promptly and protect other ill students.

Health Services at 845-675-4596 or
Student Development at 845-675-4793 or
Auxiliary Services at 845-675-4500 or

As always, we continue to actively monitor the international health situation via local, state, and federal agencies and will post health-related updates on this page as necessary.

Reliable websites:

Centers for Disease Control
World Health Organization


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