- Associated Press - Friday, October 17, 2014

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - Gov. Scott Walker on Friday joined with other Republicans around the country in calling on the federal government to institute a commercial travel ban for West African countries affected by Ebola.

Walker announced his call for the travel ban along with other steps to prepare in case anyone in Wisconsin contracts the disease. There are no confirmed cases of Ebola in Wisconsin, and no tests have been conducted or are pending due to suspected cases, Walker said in a press release.

U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson, a Wisconsin Republican, earlier this week called for restricting travel and quarantines for people who have recently been in affect nations or exposed to Ebola patients. U.S. Rep. Reid Ribble, also a Republican, has called for an emergency congressional session to consider options to slow the disease, including imposing a travel ban to affected African regions.

Walker also announced several other steps to prepare for Ebola:

- He directed the state’s health officer to work with the head of the Wisconsin National Guard on protocols and procedures for treating people with Ebola. Walker said they will serve as backup for existing teams in Wisconsin’s health care system.

- Walker said he was working with the Wisconsin Hospital Association to form a clinical advisory team to advise the state health department in the ongoing response to Ebola.

- Walker said the state also has a surveillance policy in place to monitor people who have reported travel to Ebola-stricken countries. That involves the state DHS working with local public health departments to monitor people who have traveled to affected countries, said State Health Officer Karen McKeown. The people check their temperatures twice a day for 21 days and report the results to the local health departments.

“We are taking these steps because, while we hope for the best, we must be prepared for the worst,” Walker said. “Prevention is key to stopping the spread of any illness.”


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