Faculty, alumni in fight against Ebola outbreak

Nelli Westercamp

UIC alumna Nelli Westercamp is working with the CDC in Uganda.

Several UIC faculty and alumni are engaged in the battle against the Ebola outbreak.

Nelli Westercamp, who earned a Ph.D. in epidemiology last year, is in Uganda. Her husband and fellow UIC Ph.D., Matthew, went to Liberia Oct. 13.

Nelli Westercamp is an epidemic intelligence service officer with the malaria branch at the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta. “I worked on Ebola response as part of the International Infection Control team at the Emergency Operations Center in Atlanta in August and September, before coming to Uganda,” she wrote in an email.

She said the team provides technical expertise on controlling Ebola, “including personal protective equipment in various health care settings, facility setup (triage, isolation, decontamination), as well as infection control training materials and curriculum.”

Olamide Jarrett, assistant professor of infectious diseases, has extended family living in Sierra Leone.

She said in an interview on NBC-5 News on Oct. 9, “Every day the epidemic continues in Freetown is another day [they can] become exposed, because you can’t live your life in a bubble.”

In an email to UIC News, Jarrett said, “I am working with Project C.U.R.E. (Commission on Urgent Relief and Equipment) to send medical supplies and protective personal equipment to health care workers in Sierra Leone who are caring for Ebola patients.”

The organization held a fundraiser Oct. 9 to raise $22,000 to send a 40-foot container of supplies to the African country, co-sponsored by the UIC Center for Global Health and the UIC department of medicine. To donate, visit projectcure.org

Philip Ricks, who earned a Ph.D. in 2008, works for the CDC and will soon be deployed to one of the Ebola-impacted countries, he said in an email.


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