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Fearing Ebola, AL gov. asks colleges about travel

November 21, 2014

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Gov. Robert Bentley has asked Alabama colleges to identify students or instructors returning from Ebola-ravaged countries in West Africa so they can be monitored by health officials, according to a letter sent this week.

Bentley told college officials that students and instructors from West Africa may return home for the holidays to visit family and friends. The governor asked that schools provide the names of anyone planning travel to West Africa, their contact information and return dates.

“Upon return to the United States at designated airports, these individuals will undergo screening for symptoms and their category of exposure risk will be determined .” Bentley wrote, according to (http://bit.ly/1zJu6Zd ) The Decatur Daily. “At a minimum, they will be contacted daily by (the Alabama Department of Public Health) for a period of 21 days to ensure timely reporting of any symptoms.”

No confirmed cases of Ebola have been reported in Alabama. The health department has previously monitored other travelers coming from West Africa.

Officials in Bentley’s office said they did not know how many students from West Africa study in Alabama. No students from Sierra Leone, Liberia or Guinea were registered at public colleges last year, according to the Alabama Commission on Higher Education. This year, Alabama A&M University has six students from Sierra Leone, Liberia, Guinea and Nigeria.

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Information from: The Decatur Daily, http://www.decaturdaily.com/decaturdaily/index.shtml

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