- The Washington Times - Friday, March 26, 2021

Health officials in Oregon said they are monitoring four people who recently visited West African countries for Ebola. 

The four “persons under monitoring” visited the countries of Guinea and Democratic Republic of the Congo, which are both experiencing outbreaks of Ebola, and returned to Oregon earlier this month.

Local health departments have been in contact with these individuals, the Oregon Health Authority said Thursday.

“The goal of this contact is to determine their risk, if any, of being exposed to Ebola and ensure their safety, as well as the safety of their families and the community,” the OHA said. “There is low risk for people in Oregon.”

Guinea, whose outbreak is centered in Nzérékoré Prefecture near the Liberian border, has reported 18 Ebola cases and nine deaths from the viral disease as of Wednesday, according to the OHA. The Democratic Republic of the Congo has reported 12 Ebola cases and six deaths. The country’s outbreak is in the North Kivu Province near the Ugandan border. Both outbreaks are limited to small areas of each country and away from large population centers, the OHA said. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued travel warnings for the affected regions in both countries, recommending people avoid nonessential travel there.

Earlier this month, the CDC began requiring all airlines to supply contact information for all travelers returning to the U.S. who had been in Guinea or the DRC in the last 21 days, which is the longest known incubation period for Ebola. 

Travelers arriving to the U.S. from affected countries are routed through six international airports: Dulles in Washington, D.C.; John F. Kennedy in New York; Newark Liberty in Newark, N.J.; O’Hare in Chicago; Hartsfield-Jackson in Atlanta and LAX in Los Angeles. Travelers are interviewed upon arrival to see if they are symptomatic and to confirm their contact information. If they are symptomatic, they are offered medical evaluations. 

The OHA and local public health officials also are in contact with international organizations with services in the affected countries to ask for early alerts about any volunteers traveling to Oregon after recent work in those areas.

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