OKC Health Department Monitoring 'Asymptomatic Traveler'

Tuesday, December 2nd 2014, 11:10 am
By: News 9

Officials with the Oklahoma City-County Health Department confirmed that they have been monitoring an asymptomatic traveler since November 24.

According to Ken Johnson with the health department, that traveler shows no issues and is cooperating with the department's epidemiologists.

Officials said they are anticipating two additional travelers to return Tuesday who appear to be asymptomatic travelers as well. Details of the travelers' occupations or the reason for their travel have not been confirmed.

An Edmond couple who went to the Ebola-stricken country of Sierra Leone in November posted on Facebook Tuesday that they have returned.

11/5/2014 Related Story: Edmond Missionaries Head To Ebola-Stricken Country

Shanna Crawford and her husband Jerome said they have returned home from mission works in Sierra Leone. Shanna also posted on Facebook that they “are quarantined.”

Sierra Leone remains one of the three Ebola hot zones in West Africa.

And it's also the place where one Edmond couple went on a mission trip in early November.

For nearly a month, African worship songs were part of Shanna and Jerome Crawford's environment.

The songs were sang to uplift a country displaced by Ebola. The Crawford's entered that same country to, like the songs, give hope by providing food and basic medical supplies.

But that effort was also why the Crawford's were in a new environment; a coffee can on the front porch left by a friend, while the couple self-quarantines in their Edmond home.

"For us to say OK, well we've been telling you we're coming with the love of Christ and provide for you. But in your darkest hour, sorry but we'll just see you in a couple years we didn't feel we could do that," said missionary Jerome Crawford.

We spoke with the couple before they left and followed their experiences on their Facebook page.

The Crawford's returned home late Monday night without any symptoms of the disease.

"Right now they are what we classify as low-risk individuals," said Cynthia Harry, Oklahoma City County Health Department Epidemiologist.

Oklahoma City and County Epidemiologist Dr. Cynthia Harry said she will monitor the Crawford's at least twice a day for 21 days.

Their temperature will be taken and their conditions are recorded.

Health department officials said they are also monitoring one more individual who arrived back to Oklahoma a week ago.

"We want to, of course, protect the identity of the individual, which is the primary goal of public health, but to also not create hysteria where there is no need for hysteria," said Dr. Harry.

The CDC and the health department provided the packets to travelers returning from West Africa.

The packet also includes a surgical mask if symptoms develop and they have to go to the hospital.

Health department officials said they also monitor travelers who are only visiting Oklahoma, by checking with them twice a day throughout their stay.