Emma Austin Louisville Courier Journal
Kentucky health officials are aware of 11 people from the state who have traveled to Guinea and the Democratic Republic of Congo, two African countries experiencing Ebola outbreaks, Gov. Andy Beshear announced Tuesday.
“We don’t believe there is any significant risk at the moment, but we are and we want to be transparent about it,” Beshear said during his virtual COVID-19 update Tuesday.
Guinea, which was on the front lines of the 2014 Ebola epidemic, confirmed three people there had died from the virus in mid-February. They were the first new cases since 2016.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced on its website last month travel restrictions to passengers from the countries but said the risk of Ebola to the United States is “extremely low.”
The Food and Drug Administration approved the first Ebola vaccine for use in the United States in 2019.
Beshear said none of the 11 Kentuckians are at high risk but “we believe in being prepared.”
There are six Ebola assesment hospitals in the state, and health officials are working with them to make sure they’re prepared for any potential patients, Beshear added.
“We believe that as much as you can be for something like that, we are ready, but the risk is low,” Beshear said. “But I want you to know we’re on top of it.”
USA TODAY contributed to this report.