Ebola Precautions: Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is The University of Texas at Dallas doing in response to the Ebola situation?

A: UT Dallas has been monitoring the situation in West Africa since August. The University is closely following updates regarding the Ebola virus in Dallas by communicating daily with national, state and local health care agencies. President David E. Daniel has sent an email to parents of students, emphasizing the University’s priority in protecting the health and safety of its students, staff and faculty. The UT Dallas Emergency Management Office continually reviews its action plans and procedures for handling extreme medical situations and maintains close internal communication with Student Affairs, Student Housing, the Student Health Center and the International Student Services Office.

Q: What are the symptoms of Ebola?

A: Ebola symptoms include a fever greater than 101.5 degrees, severe headache, muscle pain, vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach pain or unexplained bleeding or bruising. Ebola is not transmitted through the air or through food. It is spread through direct contact with the bodily fluids of an infected person.

Q: What steps should be taken if someone feels ill?

A: Students, staff or faculty who experience symptoms of any illness are encouraged to seek help from health care providers and stay home from school or work. The UT Dallas Student Health Center is open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday-Thursday and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday. Other health care providers are located near campus. In a health emergency, individuals on campus should call UT Dallas Police at 911 or 972-883-2222.

Q: What happens when a sick student comes to the Student Health Center?

A: The center’s clinical staff is trained to ask expanded CDC screening questions for Ebola. Should a person show symptoms or report having direct contact with someone confirmed to have the virus, staff will immediately don protective gear and isolate the individual. Staff will contact the county health department for further instruction on transport to a health care facility. 

Q: Has anyone on campus shown Ebola symptoms?

A: No.

Q: What advice are you giving students regarding Ebola in Dallas?

A: The main thing students can do to take care of themselves is to follow the basic practices that ward off illness: wash hands frequently, stay away from people who are ill, get plenty of rest, eat a balanced diet and stay hydrated. If you feel ill, visit a health care provider.

Q: What about keeping students who are traveling to international countries safe?

A: Students who travel on University-sponsored trips must obtain approval from the University through the Advisory Council on International Education. It’s unlikely the council would approve a request to a country that has travel warnings due to health concerns. There are no UT Dallas students or faculty in any of the West Africa countries where Ebola is an epidemic.

Media Contact: The Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, [email protected].