October 16, 2014
SMU continues to closely monitor information related to the Ebola virus, including information about two health care workers at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas who have tested positive for the virus, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. Both health care workers had provided care for patient Thomas Eric Duncan, who died from the virus October 8.
There is no indication that there is any connection to SMU regarding these cases.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control, the Texas Department of State Health Services and the Dallas County Health Department are continuing to manage these cases. The CDC has sent additional resources to the hospital to assist with these cases. Information updates are provided on the CDC website.
Members of SMU’s Emergency Operations Group are in regular contact with state and local officials and receive daily updates on the situation in Dallas. SMU has health and safety protocols in place and maintains working relationships with appropriate government agencies to remain prepared for any communicable disease or other health issues.
SMU health and emergency preparedness officials have taken extra measures, including review of sanitization measures and availability of sanitizer dispensers at building entryways, and continued oversight of SMU community members’ foreign travel by SMU’s Travel Oversight Committee.
For SMU students, faculty or staff who may be considering travel to West Africa, SMU is following the CDC’s Advice for Colleges, Universities and Students about Ebola in West Africa.
National and local health officials are emphasizing that the risk of contracting Ebola is very low. The Ebola virus cannot be transmitted through geographic proximity alone or casual contact, or through air or water. The virus is spread by direct contact – which means through mucous membranes or broken skin – with the body fluids of a person who is showing symptoms of the illness.
As always, SMU students, faculty or staff experiencing symptoms of any illness are urged to seek assistance from health care providers and to remain home from work or school. The SMU Health Center, 3014 Daniel Ave., is open 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday; call 214-768-2141. Students living on-campus can call 214-274-9909 for transportation to the Health Center by golf cart. In case of a health emergency, students should call SMU Police at 214-768-3333 or 911.
All community members are reminded to practice the steps that can protect themselves and others from many kinds of illnesses: frequent and thorough hand washing, covering coughs and sneezes, and during this season of flu, obtaining a free flu shot at the Health Center.
SMU will continue to provide updates on the Health and Safety site and the Parents’ site off the SMU home page. For health questions or concerns, please contact the SMU Health Center, 214-768-2141. For confidential counseling, contact Counseling and Psychiatric Services, 214-768-2277, or the Chaplain’s Office, 214-768-4502. Faculty or staff with concerns about students may contact the Office of the Dean of Student Life, 214-768-4564, or visit Caring Community Connections.
SMU shares the thoughts and prayers of the global community for those affected by the Ebola virus.
For more information and resources:
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