Kasich: Travel ban from Ebola-infected areas to U.S. ‘makes sense’

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AKRON — Ohio Gov. John Kasich said Saturday that a travel ban should be seriously considered in light of the recent Ebola scares in Dallas and Ohio.

“The president has to very seriously consider the fact we don’t want people from infected areas to be flying into the country,” he said a press conference Saturday. “But at the end of the day, it’s a decision for the president. If he called and asked me I’d say, a ban at this point makes sense.”

The number of direct contacts in Ohio with Ebola patient Amber Vinson has risen from 16 to 29, according health officials, and an additional 87 people were on her flights to and from Cleveland.

That number was discussed during a briefing in Akron with Kasich, CDC doctors and other health officials.

Vinson traveled to Cleveland from Dallas on Oct. 10 and from Cleveland to Dallas on Oct. 13.

The 29 direct contacts consist of family and friends of Vinson. Of those, 14 are in Summit, seven in Cuyahoga, three in Medina, two in Belmont, two in Putnam and one in Portage.

All 116 are being monitored after coming into contact with Vinson, but no one is showing any symptoms of Ebola, said officials.

Meanwhile, local hospitals are running drills to prepare for potential Ebola patients and joining forces to treat the virus.

MetroHealth Medical Center, University Hospitals, Saint Vincent, and the Cleveland Clinic met with Cleveland Cuyahoga County officials Thursday and Friday to discuss standardization of Ebola protocol and to determine one facility that would handle all local Ebola patients. The facility has not yet been identified.

If you have questions or concerns about Ebola, contact the Ohio Department of Health 24-hour call center at 866-800-1404.