Health officials in Washington state are monitoring 23 people for Ebola after they returned from Guinea and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), two West African countries that are currently seeing outbreaks of the dangerous infectious disease.
However, “there is a low risk to people in Washington,” health officials said.
The 23 people will be monitored for approximately 21 days after their arrival in the US.
“There is an EVD outbreak in Guinea’s N’Zérékoré prefecture and North Kivu province in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued an order requiring the airlines collect and provide the CDC with contact information for passengers who were in Guinea or the Democratic Republic of the Congo within 21 days before arriving in the United States, “they said.
CONGO BRACES FOR POTENTIAL SPREAD OF EBOLA IN THE MIDST OF CORONAVIRUS
Ebola virus disease is rare but deadly.
“The viruses that cause EVD are found primarily in sub-Saharan Africa. People can contract EVD through direct contact with an infected animal (bat or non-human primate) or a sick or dead person infected with the Ebola virus.” Washington state health officials said.
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The Ebola virus is highly contagious and can be contracted through bodily fluids such as vomit, blood, or semen. The virus can live in the semen of surviving men for more than three years, according to a New England Journal of Medicine study, and health experts say that as outbreaks become more frequent, it’s important to better understand how it occurs. contracts.
That said, the risk of contracting Ebola in the United States is very low, officials stressed.
Associated Press contributed to this report.