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Health Officials Announce New Monitoring For Travelers From West Africa

Bellevue Hospital nurse Belkys Fortune (left) and Teressa Celia, associate director of infection prevention and control, during a demonstration of procedures for possible Ebola patients on Oct. 8.
Bellevue Hospital nurse Belkys Fortune (left) and Teressa Celia, associate director of infection prevention and control, during a demonstration of procedures for possible Ebola patients on Oct. 8.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced new monitoring measures for people arriving to the U.S. from Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea, the three countries dealing with Ebola outbreaks.

Travelers from those countries will be monitored by public health officials for 21 days after their arrival, starting Monday. The CDC says 21 days is "the longest time it can take from the time a person is infected with Ebola until that person has symptoms of Ebola."

In a statement, the CDC said travelers will need to look out for a variety of symptoms:

"Specifically, state and local authorities will require travelers to report the following information daily: their temperature and the presence or absence of other Ebola symptoms such as headache, joint and muscle aches, weakness, diarrhea, vomiting, stomach pain, lack of appetite, or abnormal bleeding; and their intent to travel in-state or out-of-state. In the event a traveler does not report in, state or local public health officials will take immediate steps to locate the individual to ensure that active monitoring continues on a daily basis."

The CDC pointed out that so far, 70 percent of travelers entering the US from Liberia, Sierra Leone, or Guinea travel to Georgia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia. Those states have already implemented "post-arrival monitoring."

The World Health Organization's latest Ebola situation report says as of the end of Oct. 19, Ebola has caused 4,877 deaths.

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