Since the first outbreak of Ebola in 1976, the virus left devastation in its wake, with its high mortality rate and horrible symptoms, now even remote locations like Hays must prepare for the reality that the virus could appear.
In response to the growing outbreak, five Americans were infected with the virus, and two deaths have occurred within the U.S. Fort Hays State University has developed a plan for a local outbreak.
“As we have already seen, travel associated cases have occurred in the United States,” said Melanie Heimerman, FHSU Nurse Practitioner. “Anytime there is a possibility of a crisis, it is necessary to be prepared. Nationwide, hospitals, outpatient clinics, and universities are implementing protocols in order to address this new health threat. In the event that a potential case is identified, FHSU has appropriate guidelines in place for preparedness and to minimize risk to others.”
FHSU has a plan ready for the students/faculty that have been out of the country or plan to be out of the country and plan to visit West Africa or have come in contact with someone who has been.
“While the risk of spread to Kansas is very low, there is no way of knowing what the odds are, which is why being prepared to respond is critically important,” said Heimerman.
Mirta Martin, FHSU president, sent out an all school email that stating the student/faculty member are required to visit the Student Health Center upon returning from the trip or contact. The Student Health Center has been in close contact with local and state health officials and know the prescribed protocols that will follow.
For more information contact the Student Health Center at (785) 628-4293.
Ebola Precautions Message
Dear Fort Hays State Family,
You have by now heard of the Ebola outbreak in western Africa. While I have no reason to believe that this outbreak poses a direct threat to Fort Hays State University, the University is taking certain precautionary actions that I would like to share.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued Travel Health Notices that include a warning to avoid nonessential travel to Sierra Leone, Guinea, and Liberia. Following the CDC’s guidance, Fort Hays State University is prohibiting any university sponsored travel to these countries until further notice. If you are unsure of whether upcoming travel will be impacted by this decision please contact Dr. Tim Crowley, Dean of the Graduate School and Assistant Provost for Internationalization for faculty travel or Carol Solko-Olliff, director of International Student Services for student travel.
Additionally, any student, faculty or staff member or visitor planning to travel to one of these countries, or who will be in contact with someone coming from one of the countries (parent, friend, etc) is required to visit the Student Health Center prior to and upon return from the trip or contact. The Student Health Center has been in close contact with local and state health officials and is following the prescribed protocols. Travellers will be provided with Ebola related information prior to departure, and upon return they will undergo screening and risk assessment and will receive instructions for follow-up.
Finally, the CDC has issued Advice for Colleges, Universities, and Students about Ebola in West Africa that contains information relating to Ebola that you might find helpful.
Thank you for your cooperation and assistance in keeping our campus community safe and healthy.
All the best, with sincere gratitude for all you do,