The number of people being monitored for Ebola symptoms in Louisiana jumped to four on Friday, with the addition of two more residents from the New Orleans area, the state health agency said.
One man and one woman — both considered “low risk” — have been added to the two men already being watched, said Olivia Watkins, state Department of Health and Hospitals communications director.
One of the four people lives in Baton Rouge. He is an LSU employee who returned to Baton Rouge earlier this month after training Liberian police officers on Ebola safety. He volunteered to tell people of the situation.
The other three, all from New Orleans, have not been identified by state officials.
Watkins said the two individuals confirmed Friday as being monitored had just returned from one of the Ebola-impacted countries in West Africa.
The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention alerted the state to the individuals’ travel history.
Watkins said no more information could be shared, including what specific countries they returned from and what they were doing there. The information could help people identify the individuals and violate their privacy.
As in the other instances, monitoring is being done out of an abundance of caution, Watkins said, adding that the individuals have exhibited no symptoms of the deadly Ebola virus and had “no history of exposure.”
They are not quarantined, but they are staying at home. Each will be monitored for 21 days with twice-daily temperature and symptom checks, she said. Ebola can remain dormant up to 21 days.
Their monitoring period ends Nov. 12, Watkins said.
Federal authorities recently announced that travelers returning from one of the Ebola-stricken countries would have to enter the U.S. through one of five major airline hubs. On arrival, the passengers’ temperatures will be checked and they will be subjected to detailed questioning.
The CDC is beginning a post-arrival monitoring plan, which calls for state and local health departments to contact and continue to watch individuals for the 21 days following their departure from Liberia, Guinea or Sierra Leone.
Follow Marsha Shuler on Twitter, @MarshaShulerCNB.