Ohio Bans International Travel for Residents Being Monitored for Ebola:



Update

Today 1:08 PM ET (Dow Jones) Print

By Ben Kesling

Ohio health officials strengthened the state's Ebola-monitoring protocols Saturday to require that state

residents who are self-monitoring after contact with an Ebola-exposed environment don't leave the U.S.

Ohio residents who monitoring themselves for symptoms of the Ebola virus must also undergo daily

appointments with a health-department official, according to the state's new mandates.

Ohio instituted the ban on international travel for those being monitored citing "the inability to track

them down in the event they fail to meet their daily reporting requirements," according to a statement by

the state's Emergency Operations Department.

State officials said Sunday morning that 73 people are subject to the new regulations and that 52 other

people are self-monitoring but were at the lowest risk of infection, having had no direct contact or

extended time in the same enclosed space as a confirmed patient. Another 28 individuals are being

closely watched but their cases haven't yet been categorized.

The state has no confirmed cases of Ebola, but has actively quarantined three people who had direct

contact with a confirmed Ebola patient, Dallas nurse Amber Vinson who helped treat Thomas Eric

Duncan and is now being treated for the disease herself.

Ohio officials said the new daily, statewide tally of those being monitored will improve communications

with the public and ensure transparency in the health-care process.

The new travel rules announced Saturday by the Ohio Department of Health require anybody in the state

who is self-monitoring and wants to travel within the state or the U.S. to make arrangements to ensure

another health jurisdiction takes responsibility for the daily reporting.

"As we've seen, travel is a potential problem," Dr. Mary DiOrio, the state's epidemiologist, said in a

statement issued Saturday. "We don't want to take the slightest chance for this disease to potentially

spread."

The state is trying to avoid a repetition of what happened in Texas. Two exposed health-care workers in

Dallas--one of whom was later diagnosed with Ebola--traveled; one on a plane and the other on a cruise

ship. Dr. DiOrio said the state is comfortable with criticism of its aggressive stance and is confident the

actions taken are legal.

Those being monitored can be compelled to comply with the new restrictions, said Bill Teets, a

spokesman for the state of Ohio.

Ms. Vinson, a nurse at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, Dallas, traveled to Ohio from Oct. 10 to Oct.

13, flying on a commercial airline even after she started to run a fever. She subsequently tested positive

for Ebola a day later, when she returned to Texas.

Since then, local and state Ohio health officials and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have

been working to track people in the state who might have been in contact with her.

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October 19, 2014 13:08 ET (17:08 GMT)

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