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Health Department concludes monitoring of person who traveled from West African country

November 12, 2014

Low risk case is healthy, symptom free

TACOMA, Wash. –
Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department has concluded the 21-day monitoring period of a traveler who returned from an Ebola-impacted West African country late last month.

The person had no fever or Ebola symptoms throughout the monitoring period. The Health Department received word from Centers for Disease Control via Washington State Department of Health Oct. 22 and followed the guidelines to assess the traveler’s risk level, which was low.

The Health Department maintained regular communication with the person throughout the monitoring period to receive reports of any fever or changes in health status. There was 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.

Consistent with CDC guidelines announced Oct. 22, 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.

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 www.tpchd.org/ebola with the latest information and links from CDC and the state Department of Health.

Contacts:

Edie Jeffers, Communications Manager (253) 798-2853, (253) 405-6822 (cell/text), ejeffers@tpchd.org
Jacques Colon, Health Equity Coordinator, (253) 370-5687, jcolon@tpchd.org

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