Knox County officials monitoring resident for Ebola symptoms
By Kristie Nelson, Knoxville News Sentinel
KNOXVILLE (News Sentinel) -
The Knox County Health Department is monitoring a resident who recently traveled to one of the three West African countries that currently have Ebola outbreaks.
But the traveler has shown no symptoms, so “no one at Knoxville is at risk” of infection from the person right now, said Health Department Director Dr. Martha Buchanan.
The Health Department is following national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention protocol for Ebola monitoring, a procedure the CDC made more stringent last week, Buchanan said. Once notified of the person's travels to that area, Health Department personnel contacted the resident and requested that person take his or her temperature twice a day and check in by phone with the health department daily. In addition, if the person experiences possible Ebola symptoms — headaches, fever, nausea, vomiting — any time of the day or night, that person is to call a number provided by the Health Department so arrangements can be made to isolate the person and “protect other people from getting sick” while health providers determine if the symptoms are of Ebola, malaria or something else.
Right now, the person is showing no symptoms and is not confined to home and can come and go at will, Buchanan said, though the Health Department did request the person not use public transportation and offered to provide alternative transportation if necessary, just as the county does with tuberculosis patients.