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Protecting yourself and others from Ebola

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The Ohio Department of Health (ODH) issued, new stronger quarantine protocols Thursday in an effort to help local health departments responding to suspected or confirmed Ebola cases in Ohio.

Currently there are no reported cases of Ebola in Ohio.

Concerns arose Wednesday after it was learned a Texas health care worker, nurse Amber Joy Vinson, flew home on Frontier Airlines flight 1143 from Cleveland to Dallas just one day before she was diagnosed with Ebola. She has family in Akron.

Here are the new quarantine guidelines:

  • If you have direct contact with an Ebola patient, including a brief handshake, ODH recommends quarantine for 21 days after the last contact
  • If you come within a three foot radius (like adjacent passengers in an airplane or car) for a prolonged period of time, take your temperature twice a day and look for symptoms and quarantine for 21 days
  • If you were in the vicinity of the patient, but without direct contact, notify the health department and self monitor

Also, from the ODH:

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.

The Ohio Department of Health now has a 24-hour-a-day call center for Ebola questions. The number is 1-866-800-1404

The quarantine protocols were developed based on guidelines of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Cincinnati Health Department tells employers to know the facts:

Medical Director Larry Holtdich reports a person came into one of the health clinics Thursday saying that their employer required them to get an Ebola test before they could return to work. This person had traveled to Nigeria with a church group. Holtdich said Nigeria is not one of the three countries with the Ebola problem. The three countries are Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone.

Holtdich also said even if the person was at risk it would be too soon for Ebola to show up. He urges employers with questions to call their local health department.