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Ebola Fears: Uni Cleaners Warned To Watch For Blood And Vomit In Students' Bedrooms

13/10/2014 14:00 BST | Updated 13/10/2014 14:59 BST
JAY DIRECTO via Getty Images
A journalist works near a Ebola hand book distributed by the World Health Organization (WHO) during the 65th Session of the WHO Regional Committee for the Western Pacific in Manila on October 13, 2014. Health ministers of East Asia and the Pacific met with WHO officials to discuss the region's defences to the threat posed by the deadly Ebola outbreak. AFP PHOTO / Jay DIRECTO (Photo credit should read JAY DIRECTO/AFP/Getty Images)

University cleaners have been warned to watch out for blood or vomit in students' bedrooms as fears over Ebola spreading to the UK increase.

Around 20,000 students from countries in West Africa which have been affected by the disease are returning to study at British universities, prompting the alert.

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Institutions have drawn up plans to monitor high-risk students, in particular those sharing bathrooms or kitchens, for up to three weeks, according to the Sunday Times.

However most of the students, around 17,000, are from Nigeria, where the outbreak is reported to have been contained.

Fay Sherrington, student services manager at Lancaster University, told the newspaper: "Most universities are making sure cleaners are briefed on the risks. They have more chance of coming into contact with bodily fluids because they are cleaning bathrooms in residences."

Universities are also concerned students from these countries may be shunned or isolated due to fears of contracting the deadly disease.

Cardiff University is telling staff to isolate students complaining of ebola-like symptoms before calling a health team, while at University College London, students are being advised if they develop headache, diarrhoea or vomiting within three weeks of arriving back in the UK that they should call emergency services.

The NUS has been contacted for comment but has yet to respond.

Universities were warned back in August of a potential Ebola outbreak on their campuses as students from the affected regions came over to study.

Universities UK, the body representing universities in Britain, sent letters to all vice-chancellors with instructions of how to deal with the deadly virus which has claimed thousands of lives.

Earlier this month a Spanish nurse became the first person in Europe to test positive for Ebola. Shortly after, scientists issued a warning the disease had a 50% chance of reaching the UK within three weeks.