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LSU Employee Asked to Stay off Campus After Trip to Liberia

NEW ORLEANS — Louisiana State University says an employee who trained Liberian police officers to use protective clothing has been asked to stay off campus for three weeks – the period during which Ebola virus symptoms could show up.

The man is not at risk for the virus because he did not have contact with any infected people, but the Department of Health and Hospitals is calling him twice a day for random temperature checks, department spokeswoman Olivia Watkins said.

He’s not quarantined.

“Since he is asymptomatic and is not running a fever, he is not being forced to stay in his home,” she said.

The man knows the virus’s signs and symptoms and knows to call 911 if any develop, rather than going to his regular doctor or an emergency room, Watkins said.

Nobody in Louisiana has been diagnosed with Ebola.

The man was among five workers who returned Tuesday from classroom sessions to train 1,275 Liberian National Police officers under a U.S. State Department contract, said Jim Fernandez, executive director of LSU’s Stevenson National Center for Security Research and Training.

Essentially, they taught people how to put on and dispose of protective masks, gloves, booties and Tyvek coveralls, he said.

Fernandez said state epidemiologists saw no reason to restrict the man’s movement. “Just the campus would prefer him not to come over here as a precaution.”

He said the other team members are “part-time subject-matter experts” who live in other states. He said they’re from Chicago, Albuquerque, Kalamazoo, Michigan, and somewhere in Washington state.

“Some are retired, some work for other agencies. But all are asymptomatic,” he said. “So they continue to check their temperatures and all are fine.”

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