The umbrella body that represents vice-chancellors in the UK, Universities UK has put universities on alert to be ready for a potential Ebola outbreak, as West African students arrive for the new semester, which commences in September.
The Independent UK reports the body has 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 arriving from West Africa.
Although the three countries with the largest number of Ebola cases – Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone, hardly have students enrolled in tertiary institutions in the UK, a large number of students come from Nigeria – where Ebola is also present, although in a lower capacity than the aforementioned countries.
Nigeria is the fourth largest supplier of international students to the UK universities. In 2012 to 2013, the number of students who enrolled were 9,630.
A spokesperson revealed that all universities have been given guidance on the topic. In the note, it is made clear that anyone suspected of Ebola, should be immediately confined in an isolated room, away from staff and students.
It is also stated that health personnel dealing with the patients, must take careful precautions, by wearing double gloves and a disposable visor.