COLUMBUS, OH (WOIO) - On Thursday, 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.