AS THE ebola epidemic continues to spread throughout West Africa, the University of Worcester has been warned to be prepared for an influx of students from the region.

With the new academic year due to start next month, Universities UK - the organisation representing vice chancellors - has written to every university in the country with advice on how the deal with an outbreak of the fatal disease.

A spokesman from the University of Worcester said they had received official advice earlier this month.

"We are expecting about 15 students from West Africa but we are not expecting any from Libreria, Sierra Leone and Guinea," she said.

The ebola outbreak is believed to have begun in Guinea in December last year but was not detected until March. It has since spread to Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Nigeria and so far more than 1,400 people have died.

The virus can only be transmitted through direct contact with bodily fluids or from touching victim's bodies and can cause a grisly death with bleeding from the eyes, mouth and ears.