US Monitoring People with Possible Ebola Exposure

Source: WHO
  • Last month CDC issued a travel warning for Congo and Guinea after they reported an outbreak of the Ebola Virus.
  • US health officials in Oregon and Washington are monitoring 27 people who recently returned from a trip to West Africa.
  • According to CDC and various health officials, the risk of Ebola in these people is extremely low.

US health officials are monitoring 4 people in Oregon and 23 in Washington for the Ebola virus. All 27 returned in early March from Congo and Guinea; both countries are experiencing an outbreak of the virus.

In February, Guinea and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) confirmed a new Ebola outbreak in the region. Thus, placing neighbouring countries in West Africa on high alert. As a result, the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a travel warning for the countries. Along with strict public health measures for those returning from DRC or Guinea. To date, Guinea has reported 18 cases and 9 deaths, while DRC has 12 cases and 6 deaths.

Airlines will collect and transmit passenger information to CDC for public health follow-up and intervention for all passengers boarding a flight to the U.S. who were in DRC or Guinea within the previous 21 days.


Risk of Ebola in US is ‘extremely low’

Ebola virus disease is a rare, but highly fatal condition with a case fatality rate of 25-90%. Human-to-human transmission occurs through contact with blood or body fluids of infected people. Additionally, contact with objects contaminated with body fluids can also cause transmission. Symptoms appear two to 21 days after exposure to the virus. These include fever, joint pain, weakness, vomiting, and unexplained external bleeding.

Over the years, multiple outbreaks of the disease have occurred across Africa. In 2014, West Africa suffered the world’s deadliest Ebola outbreak that claimed over 11,000 lives. Although there’s no cure for the disease, the use of Ervebo, an Ebola vaccine, has greatly reduced the number of deaths. Furthermore, it also helped health officials put an end to the world’s second-deadliest Ebola outbreak.

However, health officials in Oregon and Washington believe the risk of the people having Ebola is low. They are currently monitoring individuals returning from West Africa to determine their risk of exposure to the virus and ensure their safety.

We want to make sure these individuals have the support they need to monitor their health, stay in contact with public health officials and safely get help with medical services if it comes to that

Richard Leman, Oregon’s chief medical officer for health security, preparedness and response


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