Travel Protocols and Clinical Reminders related to Ongoing Ebola Outbreak in Africa
Over the past two weeks, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued several releases and advisories about the ongoing Ebola outbreaks in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Guinea. The outbreaks are in remote regions of both countries, and the risk to the United States is low. Out of an abundance of caution, beginning March 4, all travelers from these countries are being funneled into six US airports, including Newark and JFK. Airlines will collect and transmit passenger information to CDC for public health follow-up and intervention for all passengers boarding a flight to the US who were in DRC or Guinea within the previous 21 days. More information about these processes can be found in this and this press release. Additionally, on March 2, CDC disseminated Infection Prevention and Control Guidance for Identifying and Managing Patients with Possible and Confirmed Ebola Virus Disease. And on March 8, CDC released updated Interim Guidance on Risk Assessment and Management of Persons with Potential Ebola Virus Exposure. Our Greater New York Hospital Association colleagues have learned that the New York State Department of Health (DOH) plans to release a “Dear Administrator Letter” that will review regulations still in effect related to Ebola readiness and provide updated screening guidance that takes into consideration concerns related to COVID-19. Both DOH and the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene have been in contact with designated Ebola treatment centers throughout the State and are working with those facilities and emergency management to review communication and transport protocols.