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DEVELOPING: Traveler being monitored in Madison for Ebola virus

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MADISON (WITI) — A traveler is being monitored in Madison for the Ebola virus, according to the Department of Public Health for Madison and Dane County — FOX6’s sister station, WMTV in Madison is reporting.

Officials are urging people to keep in mind this does not mean the disease is here in Wisconsin, and there is no risk to the public.

Ebola monitoring includes checking in with certain travelers daily to determine if they are developing a fever, headaches, muscle pain, fatigue, weakness, diarrhea or vomiting.

Travelers who are monitored came from the West African countries of Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia. Protocols have been put in place by the CDC.

Health officials say the traveler was transported to a local hospital earlier this week.

Meriter Hospital officials told WMTV on Monday, February 2nd that a patient was being treated in their “enhanced isolation unit.” They gave no other details about that person’s condition.

The following statement has been issued by Public Health Madison and Dane County:

Like health departments across the country, Public Health Madison and Dane County (PHMDC) has been actively monitoring travelers from the West African countries of Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia since last fall, for symptoms of Ebola.

Regular monitoring of travelers assures symptoms of Ebola are caught early and appropriate action is taken.

Monitoring includes checking in with returned travelers daily to determine if they are developing fever, headaches, muscle pain, fatigue, weakness, diarrhea or vomiting; all of which are also symptoms of a variety of other communicable diseases that may be circulating in our community, for example, influenza.

Earlier this week, a monitored traveler was transported to a local hospital according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) protocols for monitoring and evaluation. This is not an indication of Ebola virus disease and there is no risk to the public.

PHMDC has been collaborating regularly over the past several months with the CDC, WI Department of Health Services, hospitals, clinics, emergency responders, and the State Lab of Hygiene to adopt and implement CDC guidelines to protect health care workers, emergency responders and the general public in the unlikely event that there is an Ebola case in the community.

It is important to know that people can only get Ebola by direct contact with the body fluids of someone who has the disease and is showing symptoms of being ill. Ebola is a serious concern, but only if you have traveled to Guinea, Sierra Leone or Liberia and have had direct, fluid-based contact with someone who has Ebola.

If there is ever a confirmed Ebola case in Dane County, according to our protocol, the media will be notified.

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