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CDC Steps up Monitoring of Travelers from Ebola-Affected Countries

The CDC says it will require all travelers from Ebola-affected countries to be actively watched for the virus.

U.S. health officials say they'll step up efforts to watch for Ebola even more by requiring travelers from affected countries to be actively monitored for three weeks. That means even people with no symptoms, such as fever, must check in with health authorities daily.

The new measures, to be rolled out in six states starting Monday, Oct. 27, are aimed at catching anyone who might enter the country before they start showing symptoms. "Someone infected with Ebola may not show symptoms for up to 21 days," Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director Dr. Thomas Frieden told reporters. "These new measures I am announcing today will give additional new safety."

All 50 states are expected to implement the system eventually, and it'll be up to the states to neforece it, Frieden said. The states with the most travelers from the region -- New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia and Georgia --will lead the way.

Travelers from Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea will be asked for email addresses, phone numbers and street addresses, as well as similar contacts for a friend or relative to make sure no one slips through the cracks, Frieden said. "We are recommending that temperatures are taken twice a day and reported once a day," Frieden said.

Federal officials have also required that travelers from the three countries enter the country through five airports where they can be closely questioned.

"Specifically, state and local authorities will require travelers to report the following information daily: their temperature and the presence or absence of other Ebola symptoms such as headache, joint and muscle aches, weakness, diarrhea, vomiting, stomach pain, lack of appetite, or abnormal bleeding; and their intent to travel in-state or out-of-state," the CDC said in a statement.

"In the event a traveler does not report in, state or local public health officials will take immediate steps to locate the individual to ensure that active monitoring continues on a daily basis."

Travelers will also get a kit with a tracking log, a thermometer, and written guidance.


-Maggie Fox