BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - An LSU employee just returned from West Africa; the area that is struggling with the Ebola epidemic. Even though there is no indication he was near any Ebola patients, LSU is keeping that employee at home for now, out of an abundance of caution. That employee, who says there is no reason for alarm, spoke exclusively to the WAFB Investigators.
Jason Krause was among a team of five from the United States who traveled to Liberia to help train police on how to react to the Ebola crisis. The State Department contacted the National Center for Biomedical Research and Training at LSU.
Krause says in their three weeks in Liberia, they were able to train more than 1,200 officers. He points out their training was to teach officers in hopes of preventing potential contact with Ebola in their day-to-day jobs, not to directly deal with patients or bodies. He says following proper procedures cut down on cases in Liberia, which may help efforts worldwide.
"I am very confident that we helped change some behavioral patterns and educated officers on the understanding of how to interact within this environment that will potentially save their individual lives as well as maintain the stability of Liberia," said Krause.
Krause returned Tuesday from his three-week mission, and LSU Administrators have asked him not to return to campus, giving him time to quarantine. He is a full time Associate Director at LSU.
"Because the CDC has a 21-day quarantine period and the campus asked us to do that, we complied with their request," said Jim Fernandez, Executive Director of the National Center for Biomedical Research and training at LSU.
"If that's what they would like, I will not be returning to campus for 21 days," said Krause.
Fernandez says one of the individuals in Liberia with Krause was a medical doctor, and they monitored themselves the entire time they were there.
Krause says he will work from home for the next three weeks, but he does not plan to stay at home the entire time. That is because he says he is confident he did not come in contact with anyone infected with Ebola. But just in case, he is watching his health very carefully.
"I'm taking my temperature every 12 hours, twice a day - monitoring for any fever. If for whatever reason I start having signs and symptoms that would be potentially related to Ebola, I would go to the nearest medical facility and give a rundown of my history," said Krause.
Most of all, he wants people to know that education about Ebola and steps to prevent being contaminated is the most important thing and this is not a time to panic.
The other four team members were from other parts of the United States and are back in their hometowns. LSU points out that the 21-day quarantine was something they asked for before the team left on their trip and is only out of an abundance of caution.
The Department of Health and Hospitals released a statement Wednesday evening saying "DHH staff has interviewed him. He did not have contact with any individuals infected with Ebola and nor is he risk for Ebola. In talking with him, we confirmed that he understands the signs and symptoms, and knows what to watch for. Our staff will be doing incremental symptom checks with him out of an abundance of caution."
DHH also says that officials told Krause that if he starts to show symptoms, he should call 911 instead of leaving his house, so health officials can gear up and properly transport him and limit any exposure.
Olivia Watkins with DHH says if anyone feels they may be exposed, they need to call 911 and let properly geared health officials to come to you instead of going to an emergency room and potentially exposing others.