Health officials are monitoring 44 Ohioans who may have had exposure to Ebola after returning from areas of Africa with active outbreaks.
In a five-page statement explaining Tuesday why he vetoed Senate Bill 22, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine said it is believed that all of those individuals are at a “very low risk” of having contracted the deadly virus.
The World Health Organization has confirmed the first confirmed cases of Ebola since the outbreak in West Africa between 2014 and 2016 that killed more than 11,000 people. On Feb. 14, WHO declared an Ebola outbreak in Guinea after three fatal Ebola cases were confirmed in the the rural community of Gouéké in N’Zerekore prefecture.
Guinea was one of the three hardest-hit countries during the last outbreak, the largest since Ebola was first discovered in 1976. The virus emerged in Guinea and ultimately infected more than 28,000 people in that country and in Sierra Leone and Liberia before the emergency was lifted in March 2016.
In a Feb. 26 statement, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said it is closely following the outbreak in not only Guinea, but also the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The CDC said the outbreaks were centered in remote area of those countries, with the risk of Ebola spreading to the United States being “extremely low.”
In accordance with public health measures, travelers returning to the U.S. from those two countries are being sent to one of six airports, where they are being asked to share information that will be passed onto to state and local health departments that will monitor them for symptoms.
The White House announced on Feb. 16 that officials are working with leaders in Guinea, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Sierra Leone and Liberia to limit the spread to neighboring countries.