Ebola Update for the Tufts Community – Aug 26

Please also see the Ebola Update for the Tufts Community sent on August 18th.

Dear Members of the Tufts Community,

We are writing to provide updated information about the prevention of Ebola hemorrhagic fever. On August 20, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) sent new guidance to all colleges and universities, asking us to proactively communicate with members of our community who may have been in Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea, or Nigeria within 21 days of arrival on campus. (Ebola’s incubation period– the length of time from infection to onset of symptoms – ranges from 2 to 21 days.) MDPH continues to advise that the chance of Ebola appearing in Massachusetts is small; however MDPH also stresses that it is important that we educate returning travelers, identify any risk factors for infection and monitor individuals who may be at risk.

The university has already contacted the small number of individuals we know to have traveled in the region over the summer; all of them have returned safely to the United States and report feeling well. In accordance with the new MDPH guidance, we now ask any student or faculty or staff member who has not already been in contact with a university health official and who visited an affected country within the last 21 days to call the health specialist for their campus (listed below) as soon as possible. The specialist will advise you on what, if any, further follow-up is appropriate. It is important to note that people without any sign of illness who left an outbreak area more than 21 days ago are not at risk of Ebola.

Medford/Somerville
Students: Dr. Margaret Higham, Medical Director, Tufts University Health Service, (617) 627-3350
Faculty and staff: Stephen Larson, Director of Environmental Health and Safety, (617) 636-2193

Boston & Grafton
Students: Gianna Vroom, Associate Director, Tufts University Student Advisory & Health Administration, (617) 636-4073
Faculty and staff: Stephen Larson, Director of Environmental Health and Safety, (617) 636-2193

Thank you in advance for your understanding and cooperation. The health and wellness of the Tufts community is our first priority. We will continue to keep you informed about any future developments. If you have questions, please contact Margaret Higham at Tufts University Health Service at (617) 627-3350 or email margaret.higham@tufts.edu.
Sincerely,

Margaret Higham, M.D.
Director, Tufts University Health Service

Stephen Larson
Director of Environmental Health and Safety, Tufts University