University of Buckingham academic’s comments spark concern over ebola

University of Buckingham sign ENGPNL00120130829115211
University of Buckingham sign ENGPNL00120130829115211

An academic has sparked concern over ebola risk, following outspoken comments in a national newspaper.

In an article in the Mail On Sunday, University of Buckingham politics professor Anthony Glees called for West African students to be quarantined in their home countries for 21 days before entering the UK.

The current outbreak of the disease, which is spread through contact with infected blood or body fluids, has killed some 2,500 people in Sierra Leone, Liberia, Guinea and Nigeria in recent months.

But the University of Buckingham, which has a number of West African students, said none of its students have returned home to ebola-affected countries this holiday.

And it has no plans to quarantine the new intake.

Pro vice-chancellor Julian Lovelock said: “The Public Health England guidelines do not require students to be quarantined and we are following those guidelines fully.

“We are not expecting any students from the countries with widespread internal transmission of the illness.

“The small number of students coming from Nigeria, the least affected country, will have health checks when they leave their country and at border control. They will also have a health check when they arrive at Buckingham.

“All our existing students have been alerted to the fact that it’s not advisable to travel to the infected areas.”

Rector of Buckingham Will Pearson-Gee sought advice from his diocese, after a parishioner raised concerns over infection risk from the shared communion wine.

He said: “The advice has been to say, if anyone has recently returned from an ebola-infected area, or has been in contact with someone who has, could they please just take the bread.”

This contrasts with advice during the swine flu pandemic of 2008, when the church dipped the bread in the wine so the cup was not shared.

Well Street Church’s Rev Tim Edworthy, said the cup is not shared in his church as they use individual cups.