Ebola? Nah, just an ordinary night out
Unis on high alert as 20,000 students return from West Africa to UK
• Cleaners told to raise the alarm if they find vomit in your room
• 20,000 students from worst-hit region are returning to the UK
• Fears of ‘backlash against African students’
Panicked universities on the lookout for Ebola are warning cleaners to raise the alarm if they see vomit in students’ rooms.
Unis are on full alert over fears that students from Ebola-hit countries will bring the disease to uni with them – but their methods of spotting the illness might cause some confusion.
According to The Sunday Times, cleaners are being told to look out for signs of the disease, such as “blood or vomit in the students’ bedrooms”.
Now senior officials, acting on the advice of Public Health England, are drawing up plans to monitor some of the highest-risk students for up to three weeks if they’re suspected of having Ebola.
Those who use shared bathrooms and kitchens are at the highest risk, due to the higher possibility of these students coming into contact with bodily fluids.
Ebola is spread through direct contact with bodily fluids – so that’s vomit, blood, saliva, sweat and semen.
It’s easy to see why students may be more at risk of catching the disease than other groups.
Although the moves appear panicked, Ebola spreading to UK universities is a possibility.
There are around 20,000 students in the UK who come from West African nations that have been hit by the disease, and there’s a danger that they may bring Ebola back with them when they return to uni after going home.
At Exeter Uni, 200 students from ebola-hit countries are returning this term. Any sort of outbreak there would put the Uni’s 18,000 students at risk, and would no doubt give rise to the hilarious term “Ebolah”.
Not only are uni bosses worried about the disease spreading, they’re also concerned about a possible backlash against African students from their classmates who are worried about catching something.
An officer at Exeter Uni said: “We would be concerned if there could be a backlash against African students”.
“That is something we would be worrying about.”
The World Health Organisation has said 4,033 people have died of Ebola in the most recent outbreak.