CDC Announces Interim Guidance for Monitoring Symptoms and Controlling Movement to Stop the Spread of Ebola

On Oct. 27, the CDC announced interim guidance related to the movement and monitoring of people who might be infected with the Ebola virus. This guidance builds upon existing post-arrival monitoring procedures in place and aims to more quickly identify possible cases of Ebola.

The new guidance defines four risk levels based on degree of exposure:

  1. High risk: Individual has had direct contact with infected bodily fluids
  2. Some risk: Individual has had close contact with someone showing symptoms of Ebola without wearing personal protective equipment (PPE); or was in a country with Ebola and had direct contact with someone with Ebola while wearing PPE
  3. Low risk (but not zero): Individual was in an Ebola-affected country less than 21 days ago; or shared a room with someone with Ebola without direct contact; or had direct contact with someone showing symptoms of Ebola while wearing PPE; or traveled on an airplane with someone showing symptoms of Ebola
  4. No identified risk: Travelers to countries with Ebola over 21 days ago; or travelers to non-affected countries; or an individual who had contact with an individual with Ebola before they started to show symptoms.

CDC recommends that health officials use these risk levels along with assessing symptoms to decide how best to monitor for symptoms and what other restrictions may be needed; view this factsheet for more details on the recommended actions. Key changes to earlier movement and monitoring guidance includes: new risk levels outlined; stricter actions for escalating level of risk recommended; state and local public health authorities are advised to use active monitoring or direct active monitoring rather than having people monitor themselves; and specific guidance is given about monitoring health care workers who cared for patients with Ebola in an affected country and in the United States.

For more information, view the factsheet and media briefing transcript.

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