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Health Department monitoring person who traveled from West African country

October 23, 2014

Following CDC guidelines for 21-day period for low risk exposure

TACOMA, WA – Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department received word from Centers for Disease Control via Washington State Department of Health yesterday that a person who has traveled from a West African Ebola-impacted country is in Pierce County. The person is not ill and is not experiencing symptoms of Ebola.

Consistent with CDC guidelines announced Wednesday, Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department will actively monitor the health of all people coming to the United States from Ebola-impacted countries in West Africa.

Here is the information the Health Department can share:

  • The person who recently returned from West Africa to Pierce County is not ill, and we have no reason to believe the person has Ebola.
  • The person is at low risk for getting the disease.
  • We are monitoring the person’s health for 21 days. This includes monitoring temperature daily and evaluating for any changes in health or any symptoms.
  • There is no requirement to restrict the person’s day-to-day activities, other than to not travel outside of the area on long-distance conveyances, such as airplanes and trains.

The health monitoring of people coming from West Africa to the United States is the new normal in our community and across the country. It represents an added precaution public health is taking to further reduce what is already a very low risk to the general public. In our area, people are at a much higher risk to get the flu.

This is an important part of the Health Department’s ongoing work to protect public health and control the spread of diseases. The Department already works with people who are at risk for other communicable diseases, such as measles and tuberculosis. In all cases, we protect people’s privacy. Their trust in our confidentiality greatly contributes to their willingness to cooperate with us in monitoring protocols.

We will continue to update with the latest information and links from CDC and the state Department of Health.

Edie Jeffers, Communications Manager, (253) 798-2853, (253) 405-6822,
Jacques Colon, Health Equity Coordinator, (253) 370-5687,

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