Ebola risk in US remains ‘low’ as Uganda outbreak soars – NBC Chicago
While a growing number of Ebola infections has prompted containment measures in parts of Uganda, no cases have yet been reported in the United States, according to health officials.
In an email Monday, the Chicago Department of Public Health told NBC News that the risk of Ebola remains low nationally and to date no suspected, probable or confirmed cases have occurred. in the USA.
The Biden administration announced earlier this month that travelers arriving in the United States from Uganda would be screened for Ebola at one of five airports, including O’Hare International Airport, as an additional precaution to try to prevent the spread of the epidemic.
The screening applies to any passenger who was in Uganda, including US citizens, and involves temperature and symptom checks conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In Chicago, CDPH explained that it follows up on all travelers returning from Uganda to confirm travel and exposure history, and to enroll travelers in symptom surveillance.
Travelers who have been to Uganda at any time during the last 21 days, the virus’s incubation period, are directed to O’Hare, New York Kennedy International Airport, Washington Dulles International Airport, the Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey and Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta.
On Monday, the CDPH said there was no one in Chicago with Ebola in isolation or anyone with quarantine orders.
Earlier this month Dr Allison Arwady, Commissioner of CDPH, discussed preparedness and planning for the possibility of Ebola cases in the city, saying three hospitals are capable of assessing and treating Ebola cases. patients suspected of having the disease. However, the doctor said she was “not at all very concerned” about the spread of the epidemic in the United States.
“I don’t expect us to see any cases of Ebola here at all,” the doctor said. “…But our team and CDPH, no matter what, when there’s an outbreak of something in the world…We’re a very globally connected city, and we do a lot of work to make sure we are as ready as we can be,” she said.
Ebola has infected 58 people in Uganda since September 20, when authorities declared an outbreak. At least 19 people have died, including four health workers. Authorities in the country were not quick to detect the outbreak, which began infecting residents of a farming community in August as the “strange disease” described by local officials.
Ugandan authorities on Saturday imposed a travel ban on two Ebola-affected districts as part of efforts to halt the spread of the disease.
The new measures come amid fears some patients in Ebola hotspots are surreptitiously trying to seek treatment elsewhere – as one man did earlier this month, shaking health officials. Ebola, which manifests as viral hemorrhagic fever, can be difficult to detect at first because fever is also a symptom of malaria.
Ebola is spread through contact with an infected person’s bodily fluids or contaminated materials. Symptoms include fever, vomiting, diarrhea, muscle aches, and sometimes internal and external bleeding.