Date
21 August 2017
Tom Frieden, shown here testifying before the US congress on Ebola, has announced tough new rules for all incoming passengers from the stricken countries. Photo: Bloomberg
Tom Frieden, shown here testifying before the US congress on Ebola, has announced tough new rules for all incoming passengers from the stricken countries. Photo: Bloomberg

US sets 21-day monitoring of travelers from Ebola countries

United States health authorities will closely monitor all arrivals from Ebola-stricken countries for 21 days starting Monday, the Washington Post reported Thursday.

Tom Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said anyone arriving from Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia will be actively monitored on a daily basis and will also face new rules about where they can travel within the US.

“These new measures I’m announcing today will give additional levels of safety so that people who develop symptoms of Ebola are isolated quickly,” Frieden told a news briefing.

He said about 70 percent of travelers stay in six states — New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, New Jersey and Georgia.

People will receive a kit when they arrive at the airport that explains what the symptoms are, a guide to telephone numbers, and a thermometer, Frieden said. State and local officials will maintain daily contact with travelers for the entire 21 days.

Frieden said if a traveler returning from West Africa has had no known exposure to Ebola patients, he or she will merely be monitored daily for fever.

“If, however, someone is ill, that’s a very different story,” he said. That would involve the person being isolated and, if necessary, transported by trained medical personnel.

If a person is considered “high risk” due to exposure but doesn’t appear sick, Frieden said he or she would be quarantined for the monitoring period and not allowed to travel on a commercial airline, or on other forms of public transportation such as bus or train.

He said the intensified monitoring will take effect beginning in most states. The remaining airports that receive travelers from West Africa will begin the active monitoring over the next several weeks.

The World Health Organization reported Wednesday that in the three West African countries there have been 4,868 deaths from Ebola and there are 9,911 confirmed, probable and suspected cases.

The numbers are as of Oct. 19 for Guinea and Sierra Leone and as of Oct. 18 for Liberia.

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CG/RA

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