3 Ohioans quarantined after Ebola nurse visit

Published 9:10 am Monday, October 20, 2014

CLEVELAND (AP) — Two more people have been quarantined in northeast Ohio following the visit by a Dallas nurse who tested positive for Ebola, raising the total to three following the issuance of new monitoring guidelines by the state.

None of the three quarantined in Ohio have exhibited any Ebola-like symptoms, a Summit County health department representative said Sunday.

Previously, only Amber Joy Vinson’s stepfather had been quarantined in his home in suburban Akron. One of the newly quarantined individuals is in Cuyahoga County, which includes Cleveland, the other is in Summit County.

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Gov. John Kasich ordered the new guidelines, which include travel restrictions, on Saturday. A state health official said the guidelines, including the travel restrictions, are meant to remove any chance of Ebola spreading.

“As we’ve seen, travel is a potential problem,” said Ohio epidemiologist Dr. Mary DiOrio. “It’s why the people of Ohio are dealing with the situation we have right now.”

Under the guidelines, anyone who has had direct contact with the skin, mucus membranes, blood or bodily fluids of someone diagnosed with Ebola must be quarantined for 21 days.

Anyone who did not have direct skin contact but reported spending more than an hour in close proximity of an infected person is not to travel commercially for 21 days. They are also to seek permission to travel outside the health jurisdiction where they live.

People who were in the same enclosed space as an Ebola carrier are not to travel outside the U.S.

Kasich said Saturday that the federal government should ban travel from West African countries hard hit by the epidemic.

The 29-year-old Vinson was diagnosed last week with Ebola after caring for a man at a Dallas hospital who died from the disease. Vinson flew from Dallas to Cleveland on Oct. 10 to prepare for her wedding and flew back on Oct. 13.

Ebola is spread through bodily fluids. Someone who is infected does not become contagious until they show symptoms of the disease. Health officials have said Vinson exhibited some symptoms while in Ohio.

There are now 153 people being monitored in Ohio because of contact or potential contact with Vinson. They include people with whom Vinson had direct contact, those who visited the same Akron bridal shop where her bridesmaids tried on dresses on Oct. 11 and those who were passengers on the same flights.

Vinson is being cared for at a specialized unit at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta.

A state health report issued Sunday showed there were 22 people in Ohio whose temperature is being taken twice a day by health professionals and have restrictions that include no commercial travel. Forty-eight people are reporting their temperatures twice daily and have international travel restrictions. Fifty-two people are supposed to monitor their temperatures twice a day but don’t have to report unless there is a change. The remaining 28 are listed as “pending.”