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CDC Lowers the Fever-Temperature Threshold for Ebola

Update Date: Oct 16, 2014 10:03 AM EDT

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has decided to lower the temperature threshold when checking people for fevers that could be linked to the Ebola virus. The agency gave no explanations as to why they decided to change this threshold.

Prior to this change, anyone who had a fever of 101.5 could be suspected of having Ebola. Now, anyone who has a temperature of 100.4 must be observed for the virus. The lower threshold could affect the number of people who travel from West Africa, where the epidemic is, to other regions of the world.

The CDC reports that about 150 people come to the U.S. from Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea every single day. Even though those passengers are screened, some of them, like Thomas Erik Duncan, could still bring the virus over. Duncan had traveled from Liberia to Dallas, TX. Shortly after he arrived within the U.S., he started experiencing symptoms. Tests revealed that he had Ebola, making him the first case to occur on U.S. soil. Duncan passed away on Oct. 8.

Although the CDC did not explain why they lowered the threshold for fever linked to Ebola, the change came shortly after a second health care professional who treated Duncan tested positive for Ebola. The nurse, Amber Vinson and Nina Pham, the first Dallas-based nurse that got infected from treating Duncan, are currently being treated.

The World Health Organization reported that the total number of cases as of October 12 is 8,997 with a total number of deaths at 4,493.

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