By JULIAN GONZALEZ and JENNIFER LEE The Associated Press – SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The United States has declared a nationwide lockdown for residents of California and Oregon, where health officials have been scrambling to contain an outbreak that has killed more than 10,000 people.
The declaration covers all of Southern California, the most populous state in the country, including the state’s capital, Los Angeles.
The lockdown is a precautionary measure, and it was issued Saturday after federal health officials said they had found no cases of Ebola in a second batch of samples sent out by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Health officials say they’re trying to find out if anyone who is ill with Ebola is at a community center, a hotel or a hospital.
Officials have sent hundreds of letters to people who may have traveled to the area or have stayed at homes where people may have come in contact with the virus, and have been in contact more than 50 homes.
On Sunday, Gov.
Gavin Newsom announced a total of 15,000 health care workers and 1,000 medical personnel would be on alert for Ebola.
The state is expecting to receive another 500 to 1,500 doses of the experimental drug ZMapp, but that will be distributed to the counties where it’s most effective, officials said.
U.S. President Donald Trump said Saturday that the country is “on high alert” and urged Americans to “stay home” if they have any contact with people who have recently traveled from the region.
California has seen its worst Ebola outbreak since a 2009 outbreak that killed about 2,000.
The disease is particularly deadly for people with weakened immune systems, such as those with HIV.
It is one of the most expensive diseases in the world and has killed at least 9,500 people, according to the World Health Organization.
More than 1,400 people have died from Ebola in Liberia, the world’s poorest country, where many residents live in squalid conditions and are unable to work.
Liberia has a history of a brutal civil war, but the conflict has been contained.
The country’s Ebola outbreak was sparked by a shipment of Ebola-fighting drugs sent by the U.S.-based Liberian company Theravance.
In response to the outbreak, President Trump has proposed a plan to create a national commission on health care.
It would be chaired by Dr. Tom Frieden, the director of the CDC, and include a new director of state and local government, a deputy director and five other senior officials.
Trump also has called for an expansion of the federal Ebola response and a review of federal laws, including those pertaining to public health emergencies.
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