Governor Kasich talked to President Obama about stronger Ebola protocols

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COLUMBUS — The Ohio Department of Health on Thursday issued stronger recommended quarantine protocols for health departments responding to suspected or confirmed Ebola cases in the state.

“The ODH guidelines are being recommended out of an abundance of caution to take strong measures to protect Ohio residents,” said Dr. Mary DiOrio, state epidemiologist and interim chief of the ODH Bureau of Prevention and Health Promotion. “It has become clear that we cannot be too careful in efforts to contain the spread of this deadly disease.”

Governor John Kasich said on his Facebook page Thursday that he spoke with President Obama regarding the state’s decision to implement stronger containment protocols beyond those recommended by the Federal Government. Kasich said, “Here in Ohio, we recognize the concerns of our citizens and health care workers, and we want to make sure we use all our powers as a state to be as prepared as possible.”Governor Kasich also thanked President Obama for sending CDC officials to Ohio.

ODH has advised local health departments and health care providers of the following:

  • For individuals with any direct physical contact with the index case (including brief contact such as a handshake without personal protective equipment), ODH recommends quarantine for 21 days after the last contact in conjunction with public health officials.

 

  • For individuals without direct contact, but within a three foot radius of the index case (such as adjacent passengers in an airplane or car) for a prolonged period of time, ODH recommends twice-daily temperature-taking and symptom check (one observed by a public health official) for 21 days after the last contact with the index case.

 

  • For individuals without direct contact but in the vicinity of the index case as indicated by a public health official, notification and self-monitoring is recommended.

Individuals in any of the above categories who have an oral temperature of 100.4 degrees or greater, or develop symptoms including muscle aches, weakness, vomiting, diarrhea or bruising/bleeding, should seek medical evaluation and testing.

ODH has activated a 24-hour-a-day call center to answer questions about Ebola and Ohio’s response.

The telephone number is 1-866-800-1404.

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Meanwhile, officials from the Center for Disease Control are now in Ohio.

The CDC held a meeting with state health officials Thursday morning in Columbus. CDC officials were traveling to Northeast Ohio at the time of this report.

A spokesperson at the Ohio Department of Health characterized the meeting as an “operational briefing” on the current response to the news that a Dallas nurse who flew to Ohio to visit her family has now tested positive for Ebola.

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