American University is closely monitoring developments related to Ebola and is prepared to act as circumstances warrant. Staff members are coordinating with both local and federal agencies to ensure that we have the most current information and access to local resources. AU will apply best practices to confront whatever public health situation we may face. Our Emergency Preparedness Team is monitoring all developments and safety guidelines.
We actively participate in a regional healthcare consortium to provide the most updated services and recommendations for our campus. We also collaborate with local hospitals to coordinate information, training, and access plans.
For information regarding the Ebola virus, visit www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/. Ebola can be transmitted only through direct contact with the blood or bodily fluids of an infected symptomatic person. It cannot be transmitted through the air (like a cold or the flu), nor through water or food.
It is important to remember that the chance of becoming infected with Ebola is extremely low -- but influenza is an illness that will likely affect many students, staff and faculty this year. There may be some confusion because the symptoms may seem similar; so to alleviate such concerns, we encourage all students, faculty and staff to receive their flu vaccines as soon as possible.
The university is making immunizations available free of charge; you may call the Student Health Center (202-885-3380) for an appointment; for the date of the next immunization clinic on campus; or if you have questions or concerns about symptoms, care or vaccines.
Regarding travel, new advisories for non-essential travel were issued this week by the CDC and the State Department -- which we will abide by and which affects some members of our campus community. The CDC travel advisory can also be viewed at wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/diseases/ebola.
We will provide updates as they affect the safety and well-being of our AU community.