Three from Northwest PA Being Monitored for the Ebola Virus

ebolaDALLAS, Texas – Sources say three Northwest Pennsylvanians are being monitored for the Ebola virus.

According to a published article in triblive.com, the individuals were on a flight from Cleveland to Dallas with a nurse who tested positive for Ebola.

All three patients were being monitored in Texas and have since been cleared to return to Pennsylvania.

State Health officials say the patients have a low risk of contracting the disease and are not showing symptoms of Ebola.

The patients are self-monitoring their temperatures twice a day, according to health authorities.

State Health Officials say they will be notified when each patient returns to Pennsylvania.

Officials are not releasing the names of the individuals.

Concerns of the Ebola virus have increased since two nurses at a Dallas hospital became infected with Ebola.

While there are no confirmed cases in Pennsylvania, Governor Corbett said, “I want to assure all Pennsylvanians that the state has a coordinated and thorough approach underway to ensure we are prepared and ready to deploy our public health resources in the event of suspected or confirmed cases appearing in the commonwealth.”

The Pennsylvania Department of Health is working closely with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), other states, and a multitude of public health partners and emergency management organizations throughout the commonwealth.

“Ebola is a very serious disease, and we are still learning a lot about it as time goes on,” Physician General Dr. Carrie DeLone said. “We are keeping a very close eye on the confirmed Ebola cases in the U.S. and other developments around the world and improving our policies and response in Pennsylvania as we learn more.”

There has been no evidence that this strain of the Ebola virus can be spread in any way other than direct contact with an infected person or animal’s bodily fluids, so the risk to the general public in Pennsylvania remains very low at this point in time.

“We have provided important information and guidance to both government partners and external public health partners, including hospitals, physicians, schools, emergency medical services, 911 operators, West African community leaders and others,” Secretary of Health Michael Wolf added. “We will continue to communicate regularly with them to ensure our Ebola preparedness and response efforts are aligned and closely coordinated.”

“Ensuring that all Pennsylvanians are informed and educated about the facts of Ebola is critical to containing the spread of this devastating disease,” DeLone said.

Ebola is a rare and often deadly disease that affects humans and primates. There is currently no vaccine or medicine that has been proven to cure Ebola. People who have the disease are treated for their symptoms as they develop.

Signs and symptoms can appear anywhere from two to 21 days after being exposed to the Ebola virus, but they most commonly begin within eight to 10 days after exposure. Symptoms may include:

· Fever

· Severe headache

· Muscle pain

· Vomiting

· Diarrhea

· Stomach pain

· Unexplained bleeding or bruising

Ebola viruses are found in several African countries. They are not naturally found in the United States. Africa is currently experiencing an outbreak of the disease in the western countries of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

“If you visited one of the affected African countries and develop fever within three weeks after leaving that country, you should seek medical care right away and tell your doctor about your recent travel,” DeLone added. “It’s very important that you call the doctor’s office or emergency room before you go and tell them about your symptoms and recent travel so that arrangements can be made, if necessary, to prevent others from becoming sick.”

Individuals who have been exposed to the Ebola virus do not become contagious unless and until they present symptoms, and would become more contagious as the virus progresses if they show symptoms.

The Department of Health reminds healthcare providers across Pennsylvania who treat patients with a history of travel to the Ebola-affected countries and who have relevant symptoms to immediately inform their local health department of suspected cases. The Department of Health will assist all healthcare providers in evaluating patients, assisting in specimen collection and testing, as needed.

For more information about Ebola and to access materials, visit www.health.state.pa.us or visit the CDC’s website at www.cdc.gov.


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