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Infectious Disease Preparedness: Ebola

Find out more about Temple University's procedures and planning.

While there is no epidemic of Ebola in the United States at present, Temple University is working to develop robust plans and protocols to ensure the safety of our staff and students should our community be confronted with an Ebola case. We are confident that we will have the necessary plans in place should that situation arise. That said, Ebola poses a very low risk to the U.S. population.

Temple University is fortunate to be working closely with Temple University Health System (TUHS), which has developed policies that build on national Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) recommendations. In addition to the rigorous infection control precautions in place at TUHS, we are able to draw from the expertise of our TUHS physicians. Chief Medical Officer Dr. Herbert Cushing is one of several hospital system representatives to testify before Philadelphia’s City Council on Ebola preparedness, and Infectious Disease specialist, faculty member Dr. Eileen Farnon, has first-hand field experience fighting numerous cases of Ebola in Africa.

Temple University has formed a university-wide task force to address planning needs in a measured and thoughtful way.  Temple Health Services has been fully engaged in the TUHS planning process since before the semester began, has preemptively prepared for equipment needs, and will be fully prepared to address the challenge of dealing with the isolation and transportation of Ebola patients, should that moment arise. As you may likely know, Ebola is spread only via contact with the bodily fluids of someone symptomatic with Ebola or with contaminated equipment. When properly managed and contained, Ebola can be treated and further transmission prevented.

Preparedness begins with every one of us. In order to ensure that we are all kept safe, we continue to require that anyone who has been in Ebola-affected West African countries (Sierra Leone, Liberia, or Guinea) in the 21 days before arriving on campus contact Temple University Health Services to undergo a brief telephone assessment, using CDC guidelines. Students should call 215-204-7500 and faculty and staff should call Employee Health Services at 215-204-2679.  If you have recently travelled to West Africa, particularly Sierra Leone, Liberia, or Guinea, and become ill, please immediately call Temple University Health Services or the Pennsylvania Department of Health at 1-877-PA-HEALTH (1-877-724-3258). Additional travel to Ebola-affected regions is strongly discouraged at this time, and the university will not fund travel to Sierra Leone, Guinea, or Liberia. 

As this point, early in the influenza season, the best thing you can do is practice public health prevention by washing your hands frequently, using hand-sanitizers that contain alcohol, and steering clear of individuals who are ill.

Working with experts across TUHS, we will continue to monitor this situation and send you periodic updates as necessary. In the meantime, please contact Health Services. For additional information about the virus, please read the CDC’s Ebola fact sheet and visit the CDC’s website.  To find out more local information, visit the website for the Philadelphia Department of Public Health's Division of Disease Control.

Fall 2014 Testing of emergency procedures

As part of Temple’s ongoing commitment to emergency preparedness and becomingTUready, a mandatory annual evacuation drill will be conducted for all buildings that are occupied by students and/or employees. Emergency response and evacuation procedures will be tested and evaluated during these drills. During each exercise students and employees will: (1) practice evacuation procedures and efficient building clearance; (2) familiarize themselves with the location of exits and rallying points; (3) recognize the needs of students and colleagues who may require special assistance; and (4) spread the word to the university community about what it means to beTUready. For questions about building evacuation procedures or to schedule fire safety training and drills contact the Office of the Fire Marshal: (215) 204-8687

TUalert Testing on September 18, 2014

TUsiren & Shelter-in-place instruction

IN THE NEWS:

CBS Philly: Temple University acting proactively to fend off an Ebola event, posted October 22, 2014

The Philadelphia Inquirer: Cautious colleges prepare for the possibility of Ebola, posted October 21, 2014

Temple University announces extension of police patrol borders, posted Sept. 3, 2014

Inclement Weather & Unscheduled Campus Closings: annual message and policy

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