Following the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control announcing that Guinea is designated free of Ebola virus disease as of Dec. 28, 2015, the Virginia Department of Health discontinued its post-arrival, active monitoring program.
Guinea’s designation follows the same designation for Sierra Leone (November 9, 2015) and Liberia (June 17, 2015). This active monitoring occurred seven days a week and included, at a minimum, education, having the individual sign a voluntary agreement for monitoring, and daily symptom checks.
A total of 2,239 travelers entered Virginia’s active monitoring program between October 27, 2014 and December 31, 2015. Health district personnel monitored these travelers in their jurisdictions for up to 21 days after leaving an Ebola affected West African country. Washington Dulles International Airport in Sterling, Virginia was designated as one of five airports nationwide to conduct enhanced entry screening.
“Thankfully, there was never a confirmed case of EVD in Virginia,” said State Health Commissioner Marissa J. Levine, MD, MPH, FAAFP. “I am proud of our staff’s unwavering dedication over the past 14 months to accurately and consistently monitor more than 2,200 travelers. They ensured the safety of those travelers, as well as the safety of our residents, while displaying incredible commitment, attentiveness and compassion toward the travelers arriving in Virginia from the countries stricken with Ebola.
“Virginia established Unified Command for the state government response to the Ebola threat. At the state and local levels, Virginia’s response to Ebola was marked by close collaboration among hospitals, health care providers, emergency medical services, emergency management, and law enforcement. I cannot thank our partners enough for their support and actions during this period,” added Dr. Levine.
VDH will continue to respond to any inquiries from travelers regarding their health. For more information on Ebola and VDH’s role in protecting Virginians from EVD, visit vdh.virginia.gov/epidemiology/ebola.