Health officials are monitoring the condition of four people in Oregon and 23 in Washington state who may have been exposed to the Ebola virus.
Those under observation have recently returned from Guinea and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Small outbreaks have been recorded in both countries.
The Oregon Health Authority said they had returned to the US in early March and the likelihood that they contracted the virus is low.
Public health officials in Washington confirmed that nearly two dozen people were being monitored in the state on Friday, following an announcement from authorities in Oregon on Thursday.
OHA Division of Public Health Medical Director for Health Safety, Preparedness and Response, Richard Leman, said: “We want to make sure these people have the support they need to monitor their health, stay in contact with officials health care and safely getting help with medical services if it comes down to it. “
The Atlanta Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued a requirement that anyone returning from an area with an active outbreak be monitored for 21 days, the incubation period for the virus.
Ebola can only be contracted through contact with bodily fluids and cannot be transmitted by asymptomatic people.
Initial symptoms include fever, aches, pains, and fatigue. These then develop into what are known as “wet” symptoms, including diarrhea and vomiting, sometimes followed by bleeding. If not treated quickly, it can be fatal.
Ebola is transmitted differently from Covid-19, which is contracted through aerosol droplets that are usually inhaled by those who later become ill. The coronavirus can also be transmitted by people without symptoms.
No details have been released about those under observation due to privacy concerns.
Guinea has reported 18 cases and nine deaths, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo has 12 cases and six deaths. To date, outbreaks are limited to small, sparsely populated areas.
A vaccination effort is underway, and officials hope to eradicate the virus in six weeks.
The CDC has issued a travel advisory for both countries.
A 2014-2016 outbreak killed 11,000 people in West Africa and prompted the Obama administration to develop a “Pandemic Strategy Manual” through the National Security Council.