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LA County Monitoring Travelers Who Recently Arrived From West Africa For Ebola

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Los Angeles County health officials are monitoring an unspecified number of people who recently arrived in the Southland from West Africa, but none of them are suspected of having the Ebola virus, the county's top health officer said Friday.

Dr. Jeffrey Gunzenhauser, interim head of the county Department of Public Health, said federal officials have stepped up efforts to track the movements of people who recently traveled to West Africa.

"What that means is that here in Los Angeles County we are being notified by the state of California -- the Department of Public Health -- about any traveler who's arriving on a flight that has originated out of West Africa and we are actively monitoring those persons," Gunzenhauser said.

KNX 1070's Margaret Carrero reports that he would not say how many people the county is monitoring.

LA County Monitoring Travelers Who Recently Arrived From West Africa For Ebola

However, he did say the county has "received some notifications and we're following up on those individuals."

He emphasized that none of these people who are being monitored are suspected of having the Ebola virus.

"If any of them did (exhibit symptoms) we would get them in for care," he said, insisting there are no suspected or confirmed cases of the virus in Los Angeles County.

Under federal requirements, passengers departing from the affected area are screened before they can board flights and screened again when they arrive in the United States at one of five hub airports. The passengers are also tracked to their ultimate destinations if they take connecting flights, leading to the localized notifications to health officials.

Gunzenhauser said county health officials are working closely with area hospitals to ensure they are prepared if a case is detected in the area.

"Each day we're learning more information based on monitoring the situation in West Africa and the Unites States, and as a result of that we're more prepared each day than we were yesterday," he said.

(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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