Student on Ebola flight to return to class

Natalie Sullivan

President William Powers Jr. announced in a University-wide email Monday afternoon that the monitoring period for a UT student who was on the same flight as a nurse diagnosed with Ebola ended Monday.

According to Powers, the student did not display any symptoms of Ebola during the 21-day quarantine. 

“Local health officials report that the student never showed any symptoms of Ebola and does not pose a risk to the campus community. This student has resumed classes and activities on campus,” Powers said in the email. 

The Austin/Travis County Health and Human Services Department said in a statement the monitoring period for the student, who was considered a low-risk contact, ended at 5 p.m. Monday. 

According to the statement, health officials followed Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines and monitored the student with daily temperature checks. The student stayed home from class at his/her personal residence during the quarantine, Powers said.  

“The UT student … has been monitored by [Austin/Travis County Health and Human Services Department] staff twice daily for temperature readings for 21 days, which is consistent with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines,” the statement said. “Staff continues to monitor three other contacts that came from or travelled to one of three African countries impacted by the virus. All are considered low risk and all are complying.”

The student originally went into a self-imposed isolation on Oct. 13 after being onboard the same flight as Dallas nurse Amber Vinson. Vinson was officially diagnosed with Ebola two days after the flight and was declared free of the virus on Oct. 28.

Powers also reminded students about the University’s international travel guidelines, which will remain in effect while Ebola is still a global concern. 

“Under these guidelines, all international travelers, faculty, staff and students on official university business must register with the group, International SOS,” Powers said in his email. “Any official travel to Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea must be approved by university officials. Upon return, any travelers to those countries must be prepared to work with local health officials to undergo screenings and other possible restrictions.”