Reuters: Florida to monitor health of travelers from Ebola-hit countries

Florida Governor Rick Scott said the state will require 21-day health monitoring of people returning to the state from Ebola-affected countries in Africa, even though the state has no airports authorized to receive travelers from the three nations. If a person is deemed to have had a “high risk” of contracting the disease, Florida will take further action, which may include mandatory quarantine. Scott said the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has declined to identify risk levels of people who have returned from those three African countries. (Source: Reuters)

 

Florida will require 21-day health monitoring of people returning to the state from Ebola-affected countries in Africa, Governor Rick Scott said, even though the state has no airports authorized to receive travelers from the three nations.

Scott signed an executive order mandating twice-daily health evaluations of anyone who has come from Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Four known individuals fall into that category in Florida, Scott said in a news release.

Governor Rick Scott released the following statement, following the news of Doctor Craig Spencer testing positive for Ebola in New York after returning from Guinea last week where he treated Ebola patients:

“The news of Dr. Spencer testing positive for Ebola after returning to the US last week from treating Ebola patients makes it clear that the CDC and federal government must do more to protect healthcare workers around the world and our citizens here at home.

“The Department of Defense’s guidance for US military members who are deployed to fight Ebola in Africa requires even those at low risk of exposure to be monitored by healthcare professionals with twice daily checkups for 21 days after they return home. Returning military members with a high-risk of exposure are required to be monitored under quarantine for 21 days.

“This 21-day period of care for military men and women allows them to be closely monitored after they have been in contact with Ebola. It is common sense for the federal government to standardize this protocol for all volunteers and personnel in Ebola-infected areas. The federal government must provide the same level of precautionary care for volunteer healthcare workers, like Dr. Spencer, and federal non-military personnel, including the CDC, as they do for the US military. They are all on the frontlines of the fight against Ebola, and they are all expected to return to the US.

“Ensuring that all workers abroad are required to take the same safeguards and precautions as our US military personnel will not only provide an equal level of care for these selfless healthcare workers, it will also better protect all our citizens here in Florida and across the country from any threat of this deadly disease.

“We are glad that we still do not have a case of Ebola here in Florida, and we hope we never do, but we must do everything we can to prepare to combat this disease – and urge the federal government to do everything in their power to stay ahead of its spread and not fall behind, as the CDC has already admitted happened to them with the fatal case in Dallas.”

For the complete story: http://news.yahoo.com/florida-monitor-health-travelers-ebola-hit-countries-192220995.html;_ylt=AwrBEiJcT01U6QYA2QbQtDMD

 

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