October 17, 2014
SMU’s utmost priority is the well-being of our students, faculty, and staff. For this reason, SMU remains in daily contact with national, state and local health agencies to closely monitor information related to the Ebola virus. 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.
The two health care workers who were being treated for Ebola at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital have been transferred to hospitals outside Texas.
There is no indication that there is any connection of these patients to SMU. Although a number of students live in the neighborhood of apartments where one of the patients lived, geographic proximity alone does not constitute a risk. Health officials are emphasizing that the risk of contracting Ebola is very low. 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 is usual to prepare for the flu season, SMU health and emergency preparedness officials are implementing extra sanitation measures and continuing to oversee foreign travel by SMU community members through the University’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.
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. Other health provider clinics are located nearby. 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 from 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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