There is currently an outbreak of the Ebola virus in West Africa. Whilst Ebola is a serious disease, the risk in the UK remains very low and it is very unlikely it would spread here. Ebola is transmitted by direct contact with infected blood and body fluids, so is less infectious than airborne diseases such as the flu. The risk of catching the virus is very low unless you’ve recently travelled to a known infected area and had direct contact with an infected person or animal.
What to do if you have symptoms and have recently travelled from West Africa
If you feel unwell with symptoms such as fever, chills, muscle aches, headache, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, sore throat or rash within 21 days of coming back from Guinea, Liberia or Sierra Leone, you should stay at home and immediately telephone 111 or 999, explaining that you have recently visited West Africa. These services will provide advice and arrange for you to be seen in a hospital if necessary so the cause of your illness can be determined. There are other illnesses that are much more common than Ebola (such as flu, typhoid fever and malaria) that have similar symptoms in the early stages, so proper medical assessment is really important to ensure the right diagnosis and treatment.
In the unlikely event of a case of Ebola occurring amongst our community, Public Health England would become involved and instruct the University on procedures to follow to secure the safety of all our staff and students.
What to do if you’re planning to travel to an affected region
For the latest advice on travelling to any of the affected regions, please see the latest Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) guidance. Travel on University business by staff or students must not be undertaken to these affected regions where this is in contravention of FCO guidance. Heads of Department should take advice on risk assessments from the Director of Health and Safety before any arrangements are booked for all travel requests to areas that represent higher risk according to FCO guidance.