to monitor health of travelers from Ebola-hit countries
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[October 27, 2014]
(Reuters) - Florida will require
21-day health monitoring of people returning to the state from
Ebola-affected countries in Africa, Governor Rick Scott said, even
though the state has no airports authorized to receive travelers from
the three nations.
Scott signed an executive order mandating twice-daily health
evaluations of anyone who has come from Guinea, Liberia and Sierra
Leone. Four known individuals fall into that category in Florida,
Scott said in a news release.
If a person is deemed to have had a "high risk" of contracting the
disease, Florida will take further action, which may include
Scott said the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
(CDC) has declined to identify risk levels of people who have
returned from those three African countries.
“I want to be clear that we are taking this aggressive action at the
state level out of an abundance of caution in the absence of
much-needed Ebola risk classification information from the CDC,”
Scott said in the news release.
The CDC did not have any information to provide on Sunday about risk
classifications Florida is seeking, a CDC official said in an email.
New York, New Jersey and Illinois imposed 21-day mandatory
quarantines in the last two days for medical workers and other
people arriving with a high risk of having contracted Ebola in
Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea, which have suffered most of the
nearly 5,000 fatal cases of Ebola.
Each of those three states has an airport that receives passengers
traveling from the affected West African nations, though there are
no direct flights to the United States.
The other two airports are Washington Dulles in Virginia and
Hartsfield Airport in Atlanta.
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“We are using what information is available to our Department of
Health through the CDC’s Epi-X web-based system, which monitors
individuals who travel to areas with infectious diseases, including
Ebola,” Scott said. “Using this system, we know that four
individuals have already returned to Florida after traveling to
State health officials are working to identify anyone who has
returned to Florida after traveling to an Ebola region and are
investigating their risk of getting the disease, he said.
(Reporting by Kevin Murphy in Kansas City; Editing by Eric Walsh)
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