Ebola Preparedness


Dear UMass Lowell community members,

By now, you have likely heard of the Ebola virus, its impact on West Africa and isolated cases in Texas. Other than those cases and several U.S. citizens who contracted the virus in Africa and were returned to the U.S. for treatment, there have been no additional U.S. cases reported. However, because of increased vigilance and the cold and flu season, you may hear about individuals with elevated temperature or fever being isolated for monitoring as a precautionary measure.

Ebola is very difficult to contract and is spread only by close contact with the bodily fluids of a symptomatic infected person or animal through touch or contaminated objects. The virus is not airborne or spread by coughing, sneezing or sharing of food, drastically decreasing its ability to spread. Individuals who lived with the gentleman in Texas who succumbed to Ebola have completed a three-week quarantine period and were not infected. Please see our Ebola advisory for additional information on the Ebola virus.

UMass Lowell is following guidelines from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), including communicating with community members who may have traveled to West Africa. We will continue to educate returning travelers and identify any risk factors. While we do not expect to have any cases, we have met with key departments of the City of Lowell, Lowell General Hospital and within the university and have created a unified preparedness program for any suspected cases of the virus.  If there is any reason for concern, the campus community will be notified.

If you have been to West Africa recently, have plans to travel there, have had any possible exposure to Ebola or have any concerns at all, please contact us at Health Services at 978-934-6800 or Health_Services@uml.edu.

If you have travel plans, the CDC has created an information page with advice for study abroad and other education-related travel. Other helpful information is available on the International Students & Scholars Office’s Travel page as well as on the Office of Study Abroad & International Experiences’ Health, Safety and Travel Preparation page.

Please keep in mind that there are many illnesses with fever that occur in travelers and that, regardless of the upsetting situation in West Africa, the chance of contracting the Ebola virus is rare and occurs only when one is exposed to bodily fluids of an already sick person. However, we are prepared for the unlikely situation of a case in our community and will continue to take proactive steps to keep our campus healthy.


Larry Siegel
Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs

Paulette Renault-Caragianes
Assistant Dean of Student Affairs for Health and Wellness


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