Ebola outbreak: College campuses on alert as new term begins
Nigeria is the fourth largest supplier of international students to British universities
Richard Garner has been Education Editor of The Independent for 12 years and writing about the subject for 34 years. Before becoming a journalist, he worked as a disc jockey in London pubs and clubs and for a hospital radio station. His main hobbies are cricket (watching these days) and theatre. On his days off, he is most likelt to be found at Lord’s or the King’s Head Theatre Club.
Sunday 17 August 2014
Universities in the UK have been put on alert to be ready for a potential outbreak of the Ebola virus when the new term starts in September.
Universities UK, the umbrella body that represents vice-chancellors, has written to every university giving detailed guidance on how to deal with an outbreak. The decision was made to send out the guidance because universities are expecting thousands of new students to arrive from West Africa.
While the three countries which have seen the largest number of Ebola cases – Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone – have hardly any students enrolling at UK universities, Nigeria – which has had confirmed cases – is the fourth largest supplier of international students to UK universities. In 2012-13, the latest year for which figures are available, a total of 9,630 were enrolled.
A spokesman for Universities UK said: "The issue is very much on universities' radars. We circulated to universities the publicly available guidance on the topic."
The guidance makes it clear that anyone suspected of having Ebola should immediately be isolated in a side room away from any staff or student contact.
"The side room should have dedicated en-suite facilities or at least a dedicated commode," it says. "The level of staff protection is dependent on the patient's condition." Those having any dealings with the patient must take careful hand hygiene precautions, wearing double gloves and a disposable visor.
The guidance reassures university staff: "Evidence from outbreaks strongly indicates that the main routes of transmission of infection are direct contact (through broken skin or mucous membrane) and indirect contact with environments contaminated with splashes or droplets of blood or body fluids.
"Experts agree that there is no circumstantial or epidemiological evidence of an aerosol transmission risk from patients."
So far, there have been more than 1,060 deaths and 1,975 confirmed sufferers, but the World Health Organisation warns that the crisis is likely to continue for months.
The outbreak was first identified in March in Guinea.
Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
Greece elections: Greek PM Alexis Tsipras takes aim at 'neo-liberal' Europe as country gears up for prolonged austerity battle
Auschwitz liberation 70th anniversary: Woman sent to three Nazi death camps describes surviving gas chamber
Pornhub star Mia Khalifa receives death threats after being ranked the site's top adult actress
Prince Philip set to be knighted by Australia: Celebrate by reading his greatest gaffes
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
Islamic history is full of free thinkers - but recent attempts to suppress critical thought are verging on the absurd
Leaked documents show Ukip leaders approve NHS privatisation once it becomes more 'acceptable to the electorate'
- 1 The BBC has just done more to eradicate ‘terrorism’ than all our wars since 9/11
- 2 Dog thinks owner is drowning in lake, dives in and tries to pull him out
- 4 Chilling drone footage captures Auschwitz ahead of 70th anniversary of liberation
- 5 Phil Neville backtracks on Tomas Rosicky 'I'd smash him' comments from Match of the Day 2
Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: We are working with a school that needs a t...
Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: A teacher of Science is required by this 11...
Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: Tradewind are working with this Co-educatio...
Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: We require a teacher of Textiles for this c...