Ebola Virus Disease – Advice and guidance

The University of Birmingham is a global community of staff and students and therefore we are working closely with Public Health England to ensure accurate information and guidance is followed regarding the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) outbreak in West Africa.

The Government’s current risk assessment for persons in the UK contracting the Ebola Virus Disease remains very low. No imported case of EVD has ever occurred in the UK and the risk to anyone travelling to West Africa contracting Ebola is very low without direct contact with the blood or body fluids of an infected person.

While Ebola remains a genuine concern in West Africa, if it travels to Europe the chances of it spreading are remote.

The Foreign Office suggests British nationals should carefully assess the need to travel to these countries and if travelling to them should ensure that they have adequate arrangements in place for onward travel/exit and have adequate emergency health provision.

Symptoms:

EVD is a severe acute viral illness often characterised by the sudden onset of fever, intense weakness, muscle pain, headache and sore throat. This is followed by vomiting, diarrhoea, rash, impaired kidney and liver function, and in some cases both internal and external bleeding

The virus can be spread to other people through direct contact with blood or other bodily fluids and with wild animals. It has an incubation period of two to 21 days.

Further information:

Further information on Ebola is available from NHS Choices: www.nhs.uk/conditions/ebola-virus/pages/ebola-virus.aspx

The Risk Assessment on Ebola prepared by Public Health England (31.7.14) can be viewed at:

www.gov.uk/government/publications/ebola-virus-disease-risk-assessment-of-outbreak-in-west-africa

Medical Help:

Students who have concerns should contact their GP. Alternatively, the University Medical Practice at 5 Pritchatts Road Edgbaston, B15 2QU, is open between 8.30am and 5.30pm Monday to Friday (Tel: 0121 687 3055).