Given the expanding epidemiological investigations into contacts of those who were potentially exposed to Ebola in Dallas, the State of Ohio has released a new set of stringent quarantine protocols for anyone who may have had contact with an Ebola infected individual.
These guidelines are far stricter than those released last August by the CDC (see Interim Guidance for Monitoring and Movement of Persons with Ebola Virus Disease Exposure), where asymptomatic household contacts or other close contacts with an EVD patient would only be subject to conditional release and controlled movement until 21 days after last known potential exposure.
For the state of Ohio, for any direct physical contact with the index case (including brief contact such as a handshake without personal protective equipment), ODH recommends quarantine for 21 days.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE October 16, 2014
Contact: State Joint Information Center (614) 799-6480
COLUMBUS – Today the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) issued new, stronger recommended quarantine protocols for local health departments responding to suspected or confirmed Ebola cases in Ohio. The ODH guidelines were developed in consultation with Ohio infectious disease experts and build on guidelines of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
ODH issued the new guidelines to Ohio's local health departments and health care providers via its Ohio Public Health Communications System.
“The ODH guidelines are being recommended out of an abundance of caution to take strong measures to protect Ohio residents,” said Dr. Mary DiOrio, state epidemiologist and interim chief of the ODH Bureau of Prevention and Health Promotion. “It has become clear that we cannot be too careful in efforts to contain the spread of this deadly disease.”
Here are the ODH guidelines for local health departments:
- For individuals with any direct physical contact with the index case (including brief contact such as a handshake without personal protective equipment), ODH recommends quarantine for 21 days after the last contact in conjunction with public health officials.
- For individuals without direct contact, but within a three foot radius of the index case (such as adjacent passengers in an airplane or car) for a prolonged period of time, ODH recommends twice-daily temperature-taking and symptom check (one observed by a public health official) for 21 days after the last contact with the index case.
- For individuals without direct contact but in the vicinity of the index case as indicated by a public health official, notification and self-monitoring is recommended.
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.
Ohio public health officials were alerted by the CDC Wednesday morning that a Dallas nurse who tested positive for Ebola was in Ohio Oct. 10-13.
ODH has activated a 24-hour-a-day call center to answer questions about Ebola and Ohio’s response. The telephone number is 1-866-800-1404. Information about Ebola is also available on the ODH website at www.odh.ohio.gov and the CDC website at www.cdc.gov.
- Oct. 16: ODH in consultation with infectious disease experts across the state issues enhanced Ebola quarantine protocols for individuals in proximity of index cases.
- Oct. 15: CDC responds to Gov. John R. Kasich’s request by agreeing to send staff to Ohio to help support Ohio’s state and local Ebola response efforts.
- ODH deploys state epidemiologist Dr. Mary DiOrio and other staff to Summit County to assist with its efforts; participates in Summit County Public Health’s news conference.
- Gov. Kasich talks with US Secretary of Health and Human Services Sylvia Burwell, as well as CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden. Kasich requests CDC staff to be deployed to Ohio to assist with patient contact work.
- ODH notified by CDC that Dallas nurse who tested positive for Ebola was in Summit County Oct. 10-13.
- Oct. 14: Ohio conducts a tabletop exercise and preparedness seminar with health care partners representing hospitals, physicians, nurses, EMS responders and local health departments.
- July-Pres.: ODH shares Ebola preparedness guidance with health care providers and local health departments.