Coughing man causes Ebola scare in Columbia County
Thursday, Oct. 9, 2014 8:33 PMA Columbia County man was cleared by health officials Thursday afternoon after causing a scare when employees at the Columbia County tag office thought he may have the Ebola virus, according to Columbia County emergency management director Pam Tucker.
Last updated Friday, Oct. 10, 2014 1:05 AM
The man, who Tucker said is an anesthesiologist, had recently moved to Georgia from Senegal, a country located in West Africa – the epicenter of the recent Ebola outbreak.
The man’s name was not provided.
“He got his drivers license on Oct. 7 and was at the tag office (Thursday) getting his tag,” Tucker said. “From my understanding, he had lived in Senegal for a while.”
Tucker was notified of the issue between 3:30 and 3:45 p.m., and within a half-hour, public health officials had tracked the man down.
“I followed our protocol and immediately notified public health,” she said. “They located the individual and notified me that he had not had any contact with anyone with Ebola.”
Tucker said the man was not transported to the hospital and tests were not performed.
“No further action was needed,” she said. “They went thru the protocol and established he had not been near any Ebola patients. The protocol is clear and the fact that this man was contacted within 30 minutes of walking out of the tag office shows that we are all taking Ebola very seriously.”
Tucker said she is pleased with the concern of local citizens and hopes the awareness remains heightened.
“I think it’s a very positive sign that citizens in our community have such a high level of concern,” she said. “I urge people to keep doing the same. This is obviously a very serious issue and any suspicion needs to be addressed.”