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Oregon health officials monitoring 4 people for Ebola

The four people recently returned from Guinea and Democratic Republic of the Congo. The Oregon Health Authority said there is low risk for people in Oregon.

PORTLAND, Ore. — The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) on Thursday announced it is monitoring four people for Ebola after those people recently returned from Guinea and Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), two West African countries in the midst of Ebola outbreaks.

OHA said there is low risk for people in Oregon. It did not say where the four individuals are located.

Local public health departments and OHA have been in touch with the four people, who arrived back in Oregon in early March. They are considered “persons under monitoring”, OHA said.

“We want to make sure these individuals have the support they need to monitor their health, stay in contact with public health officials and safely get help with medical services if it comes to that,” said Dr. Richard Leman with the OHA Public Health Division.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued Level 3 travel warnings for the affected regions in both Guinea and DRC. The CDC recommends people avoid nonessential travel there.

Since March 4, the CDC has required all airlines to supply contact information for all U.S.-bound travelers who have been in Guinea or Democratic Republic of the Congo in the last 21 days, which is the largest known incubation period for Ebola, OHA said. Those travelers are interviewed upon arriving in the U.S. to determine if they are symptomatic and to confirm their contact information. If they are symptomatic, they will be offered medical evaluation.

Ebola causes severe illness in which 50 - 90% of those infected die, according to OHA. Symptoms include fever, headache, muscle pain, weakness, diarrhea, vomiting, stomach pain and unexplained bleeding or bruising.

Learn more about Ebola from the CDC and from OHA.

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