Ebola effects on study and travel to Africa

Amanda Thompson

Due to the Ebola outbreak, Colorado State University is not permitting students travel to Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone through university sponsored travel programs, until further notice, according to a statement from CSU.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued a Level 3 travel warning for Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, and according to the statement, advises against all nonessential travel to the three countries until the Level 3 travel warning is downgraded.


“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and The World Health Organization are working on a vaccine to, if not cure Ebola, contain it in order to prevent new cases,” said Scot Allen, export control for the vice president for research at CSU. “Their goal is to have the vaccine available as early as the end of this year.”

CSU’s Education Abroad Program has decided to cancel their program to Ghana, according to Allen. Even though Ghana is not directly hit by Ebola, it is closer to the regions of West Africa that are affected, which raised concern from CSU’s students, parents and staff.

“There are no confirmed cases in Ghana, so it was not canceled as a direct result of Ebola,” Allen said. “We don’t have a reason to think that the risk of getting Ebola in Ghana is any greater than getting it in the U.S. But, it is closer to the region of concern, than other countries in Africa.”

According to Allen, there are no CSU students currently studying abroad in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, but there are students currently in and planning to travel to other regions of Africa.

“The Ebola outbreak is a danger, but not the way it has been blown out of proportion,” said Namuyaba Temanju, a teaching assistant in the department of ethnic studies at CSU.

Temanju has traveled to several countries in East Africa and advises those who want to travel to the countries in Africa that are not affected by Ebola, to follow that desire.

“Not even mid-Africa has been affected,” Temanju said. “It is specifically West Africa, therefore I do not see a problem in traveling to the unaffected areas.”

Andrew Woodrum, a natural resource recreation and tourism sophomore at CSU, has also traveled to various countries in East Africa for vacations, and a medical mission trip.

“My experience in Africa was eye opening and fun,” Woodrum said. “Going on a safari adventure is something I would recommend to anyone if they have the chance. Don’t let this Ebola outbreak hinder you from going.”

According to CSU’s Ebola statement, the risk of widespread Ebola disease in the U.S. remains very small. The CSU community is encouraged to remain calm and to stay well informed.


Collegian Reporter Amanda Thompson can be reached at news@collegian.com or @amanduhh3003