NC Health Department Updates Screening Guidelines for International Travelers

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), no new Ebola cases have been identified in Liberia since March 20, 2015. On May 9, 2015, forty-two days after the last laboratory-confirmed case was buried, the WHO declared the Ebola outbreak over in Liberia. Despite recent reports of two new cases in Liberia, the new guidelines remain in effect, according to Zack Moore, MD, MPH, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Medical EpidemiologistRead the new guidelines for Liberia.

Unfortunately, the outbreak has not yet ended in Guinea or Sierra Leone. Public health monitoring of and clinical management recommendations for travelers returning from Guinea and Sierra Leone have not changed. Read the recommendations or contact the epidemiologist on call at 919-733-3419.

Health care providers should continue to screen patients for recent international travel.  A thorough travel history is essential to identify potential exposures to diseases of concern globally and to direct appropriate laboratory and diagnostic testing. The importance of obtaining a travel history has been reaffirmed by recent and ongoing travel-associated outbreaks of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), measles, avian influenza, and other emerging infections.

The North Carolina Division of Public Health encourages health care providers and facilities to post notices in waiting rooms and triage areas encouraging patients to report recent international travel. Examples in English, Spanish and French.

 
 

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