CDC: Ebola Risk in U.S. Low But Provider Vigilance Urged
U.S. health care workers reminded to test/isolate sick travelers returning from affected areas
TUESDAY, July 29, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- There is no significant risk of an Ebola outbreak in the United States; however, U.S. health care workers need to be mindful of the importance of testing and isolating sick travelers returning from the affected areas, according to a media briefing conducted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Monday.
Recent cases have highlighted the ease with which people can air travel after becoming infected with Ebola or having come in contact with an Ebola patient. U.S. doctors are also keeping watch on the wife and children of a Texas doctor who was working in Liberia to help Ebola patients. The family returned to America last week, days before the doctor -- who stayed behind -- came down with Ebola himself.
According to the CDC, while "it is unlikely that the disease would spread if imported into the United States, the recent infections in U.S. health care workers working abroad highlight the need for vigilance. CDC is reminding U.S. health care workers of the importance of testing and isolating sick travelers returning from the affected areas."
Ebola only spreads through physical touch, and it can't be spread by people who aren't showing symptoms of infection, Stephan Monroe, Ph.D., deputy director of the National Center for Emerging & Zoonotic Infectious Diseases at the CDC, explained in a Monday afternoon news conference.