Ebola: UW’s Current & Historical Updates

Update from October 20, 2014: In light of the media coverage regarding the first United States cases of Ebola, and the fact that as a historian, I am also concerned about capturing all of the “born digital” information being created now and in the near future- this news from the National Library of Medicine is especially welcome.

Current Recommendations:

Here is an update from UW-Madison’s Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, Sarah Mangelsdorf:

In light of increasing concerns about the Ebola outbreak in western Africa, I am writing to request your assistance in order to ensure that any members of our campus community with plans to travel to western Africa receive the latest information.

University Health Service (UHS) is maintaining a website with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) travel warnings, alerts, and advice. Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone currently are currently subject to a travel warning against nonessential travel. A travel alert has been issued for travelers to Nigeria and Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Undergraduate and graduate/professional students making plans to travel to countries in western Africa subject to a CDC Travel Warning must contact the University through the University International Travel Committee (UITC) co-chairs before travel to discuss their plans and university requirements for such travel. The UITC chairs (Dan Gold and Jolanda Vanderwal Taylor) can be reached through the International Academic Program’s office of the Division of International Studies, 608/265-6329.

Faculty and staff are strongly encouraged to make contact with their study abroad office or the UITC to ensure that all international travel assistance has been employed, including insurance through Cultural Insurance Services International (CISI), and that contact information is available should the University need to reach travelers abroad.

All faculty, staff, and students returning from Ebola affected areas must contact UHS at 608/265-5610 immediately upon their return for a screening risk assessment and instructions for health monitoring before returning to work and/or study. Healthcare personnel may be subject to additional requirements and should refer to the communication dated 9/22/14 from UWHC and SMPH/UWMF for more information.

Historical Context from UW-Madison’s Gregg Mitman, PhD., Department of Medical History & Bioethics. The serendipitous timing of his film making trip to Liberia, and the spread of Ebola makes for a compelling read.