23 people in Washington watched for Ebola


Public health officials in Washington state are monitoring 23 people for Ebola who recently traveled from the West African countries of Guinea and Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The Department of Health said Thursday in a news release that officials believe the individuals are at low risk but regions in each of these countries are currently experiencing outbreaks of Ebola virus disease.

Local public health officials in Washington have been in contact with the 23 people, who are considered “persons under monitoring” for 21 days after arriving in the United States.

The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention has issued an order requiring airlines to collect and provide CDC with contact information for passengers who were in Guinea or the Democratic Republic of Congo within 21 days of arriving in the United States.

Once those travelers arrive, public health officials are notified and conduct health monitoring and other public health follow-up.

The risk of getting Ebola in the United States is very low, according to the Department of Health. It's a rare and deadly disease in people and nonhuman primates that can be transmitted through direct contact with an infected animal or person.

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