The PJ Tatler

CDC Says It Will Track Travelers with New CARE Kits

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will be distributing “CARE” kits — Check And Report Ebola — to travelers coming from Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia.

The announcement came a day before a New York doctor who had volunteered in Guinea, and flown into JFK Oct. 17 with enhanced screening, tested positive for Ebola. On Thursday, Ebola also spread to a new country as a toddler tested positive for the disease in Mali.

The “active post-arrival monitoring” that will begin Monday is “an approach in which state and local health officials maintain daily contact with all travelers from the three affected countries for the entire 21 days following their last possible date of exposure to Ebola virus,” the CDC said.

Travelers receive a digital thermometer and packet with a visual list of symptoms and tracking sheets, as well as “a wallet card on who to contact if they have symptoms and that they can present to a health care provide.”

“Six states (New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, New Jersey, and Georgia), where approximately 70% of incoming travelers are headed, have already taken steps to plan and implement active post-arrival monitoring,” the CDC said.

“Active monitoring establishes daily contact between public health officials and travelers from the affected region. In the event a traveler begins to show symptoms, public health officials will implement an isolation and evaluation plan following appropriate protocols to limit exposure, and direct the individual to a local hospital that has been trained to receive potential Ebola patients,” the CDC continued.

“Post arrival monitoring is an added safeguard that complements the existing exit screening protocols, which require all outbound passengers from the affected West African countries to be screened for fever, Ebola symptoms, and contact with Ebola and enhanced screening protocols at the five U.S. airports that will now receive all travelers from the affected countries. All three of these nations have asked for, and continue to receive, CDC assistance implementing exit screening.”