Washington was considered ground zero for COVID-19 in the U.S., and now 23 travelers from the state are being monitored for another deadly contagious virus: Ebola.
The travelers recently returned from the West African countries of Guinea and the Democratic Republic of Congo — where there are outbreaks of the deadly virus — according to a news release from the state’s Department of Health.
The risk of Ebola coming to the United States remains “extremely low,” according to a news release last month from the Centers from Disease Control and Prevention.
Likewise, people in Washington are considered “low risk” for getting the virus, the state health department says.
Local public health officials have been in contact with the people who traveled to the African countries. “They are considered ‘persons under monitoring’ for 21 days after their arrival to the United States,” according to the news release.
The Department of Health did not immediately return a request from McClatchy News for more information about where in Washington the travelers are from.
Officials at the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department said Friday that they had been alerted of “fewer than five low-risk people who require monitoring.”
The CDC ordered airlines to collect and provide contact information for passengers who were in Guinea or the Democratic Republic of Congo within 21 days before arriving to the U.S., according to the release.
Ebola cases are rare in the United States.
The last confirmed cases in the U.S. came during the 2014-16 epidemic in Africa, when 11 people were treated for the deadly virus in the states. Most of the cases involved people who had contracted the virus outside the U.S., but in 2014 two nurses were infected while caring for an Ebola patient from Liberia in a Dallas hospital.
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Source: Sacramento Bee