Ohio’s top doctor: State monitoring Ebola, risk in the US is very low

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (WJW)– The Ohio Department of Health is working with the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control on possible Ebola exposures in the state.

Ohio’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff briefly discussed the issue during Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine’s Thursday news conference on the coronavirus pandemic.

“They’re monitoring outbreaks in Africa, but in remote areas of those countries. That means that while we are monitoring people here in Ohio, the risk in the United States is very low,” Vanderhoff said.

On Wednesday, DeWine revealed health officials are monitoring 44 people who returned from areas of Africa with active outbreaks of Ebola. It was part of his statement against the Ohio General Assembly’s override of his veto of Senate Bill 22. The bill, which takes effect in June, allows state lawmakers to change or reject health orders.

“I think it does highlight that we live in a global community and that we have to constantly be vigilant for how that global community impacts us right here in Ohio,” Vanderhoff said.

Ebola is a rare and deadly disease, according to the CDC. The viruses that cause it are mainly in sub-Saharan Africa. Symptoms include fever, aches, fatigue, stomach pain and gastrointestinal issues. Current outbreaks are in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Guinea.

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