Biggest Ever Weekly Rise in Ebola Cases
About 500 new infections reported across West Africa, including first case in Senegal
Health experts stress that the threat to U.S. college students remains very small, but Palinkas told the AP that the added precautions should reassure parents.
"Parents are comforted to know that there is a screening process, that we are alert for it, that we are prepared for it," he said, "and that we're doing everything we can without infringing on the rights of anybody to make sure their son or daughter is going to have the lowest risk possible."
Similar precautions are being conducted at the University at Buffalo in New York, Mercer University in Georgia, Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va., and the University of Akron in Ohio, the AP said.
In response to the crisis, WHO unveiled a battle plan Thursday that calls for stopping Ebola transmissions within six to nine months, while "rapidly managing the consequences of any further international spread," the WHO said in a news release.
The plan calls for spending $489 million over the next nine months and enlisting 750 international workers and 12,000 national workers, the AP reported.
Also Thursday, the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) said it would begin testing an experimental Ebola vaccine in humans next week. It will be tested in 20 healthy adults in Maryland to see if it's safe and able to produce an appropriate immune system response.
The vaccine was developed by the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and drug maker GlaxoSmithKline. It will also be tested on healthy volunteers in Great Britain and the West African nations of Gambia and Mali, the NIH said.
Unlike diseases such as tuberculosis or flu, Ebola isn't spread by breathing air from an infected person. Transmission requires direct contact with blood, secretions, organs or other body fluids of infected living or dead persons or animals, according to the WHO.
Ebola, one of the world's most virulent diseases, kills up to 90 percent of people it infects. Symptoms include a sudden fever, intense weakness, muscle pain, headache and sore throat. This is followed by vomiting, diarrhea, rash, poor kidney and liver function and, in some cases, both internal and external bleeding.