Today’s topic: Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) update
Action requested: Screen for recent travel from Mali in addition to travel from Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone when assessing for potential Ebola Virus Disease (EVD).
Background & Recommendations
The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) has added Mali to the list of Ebola-affected nations. When evaluating anyone with a fever or symptoms consistent with EVD, screen for travel in the past 21 days from Mali in addition to travel from Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone. Contact the Health District (425-339-5278) immediately if a patient has a positive travel history and symptoms consistent with EVD. Please also alert the Health District if a person who has traveled from the affected countries in the past 21 days does not have signs or symptoms of EVD. Although Washington’s local public health agencies are being informed about and are monitoring persons entering the U.S. after traveling from the affected countries, reports from health care providers will assure that our efforts are comprehensive.
You can find detailed guidance for health care workers at http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/hcp/index.html.
You can find useful (updated) checklists for Snohomish County providers under Ebola Virus Disease screening forms on our Ebola website at http://www.snohd.org/Diseases-Risks/Ebola-Virus-Disease.
You can find my recent health alerts posted on the Provider pages of our website, at http://www.snohd.org/Providers/Health-Alerts.
The CDC statement of November 16, 2014, follows and may also be found at http://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2014/s1116-travelers-from-mali.html.
CDC Statement: Enhanced Airport Entry Screening to Begin for Travelers to the United States from Mali
Today, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) added Mali to the list of Ebola-affected nations for which enhanced screening and monitoring measures will be taken. There are no direct flights from Mali to the United States. However, each day, a small number of travelers, averaging 15-20, begin itineraries in Mali and transit through other countries en route to the United States. The majority of these travelers are U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents returning home to America.
The CDC recommended this measure because there have been a number of confirmed cases of Ebola in Mali in recent days, and a large number of individuals may have been exposed to those cases. Thus, the action is warranted as a precaution due to the possibility that other cases of Ebola may emerge in Mali in the coming days. CDC will continue to reassess this determination on a regular basis going forward.
Effective Monday, November 17th, people arriving in the United States whose travel began in Mali will be subject to the same enhanced entry screening, health and Ebola exposure assessment, and symptoms monitoring that are already employed for travelers from Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea. In addition, all travelers entering the United States from Mali will be subject to the 21-day monitoring and movement protocols now in effect for travelers from Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, with twice daily temperature and symptom checks in coordination with state or local public health authorities.
For ease of administration, CDC will work with the airlines to ensure re-routing for the few travelers from Mali not already scheduled to land at one of the five airports in the United States (New York JFK, Newark, Washington-Dulles, Chicago-O'Hare, and Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson) already performing screening on passengers from the other affected West African nations.