The Ebola outbreak in West Africa, and cases of the virus in the U.S., continue to make headlines and spark concerns.
Grinnell College's Student Health and Counseling Services (SHACS) is monitoring the situation and is working closely with city, county, and state health officials. While the risk of an Ebola case in Grinnell or on campus remains low, staff at SHACS are closely monitoring the situation with daily updates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization.
SHACS has important information that could affect travelers to and from West Africa. The CDC has issued a travel warning and is discouraging travel to Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. The Ebola outbreaks have been contained in nearby Nigeria, and the risk of exposure is considered low, but health officials urge caution when traveling to the region.
Many of the initial symptoms of Ebola resemble the flu, which is common this time of year. If you haven't received a flu vaccine they are available at your local physician's offices, public health department, and your local pharmacies. SHACS has distributed all their available flu vaccine.
If you have traveled from West Africa or been in contact with a known Ebola case within the U.S. and have traveled to Grinnell within 21 days of exhibiting symptoms such as a high fever (101.5F or 38.6C), headaches, body aches, weakness, diarrhea, red eyes, rash, cough, or bleeding, CALL SHACS immediately at 641-269-3230 or Grinnell Regional Medical Center Emergency Room at 641-236-2380 and report your symptoms and travel history. DO NOT COME TO SHACS OR GO TO ANY CLINIC OR HOSPITAL. You will be advised where to go and next steps to take when you call the number above.
The College has emergency plans in place. We will continue to provide the community with updates on this evolving topic.
Deb Shill, Registered Nurse
Director of SHACS Operations
Grinnell College Student Health and Counseling Services