(COLUMBUS, Ohio) -- Ohio public health officials are testing two children for the Ebola virus after they developed fevers following a trip to West Africa.
"We have two cases that we're testing," Jose Rodriguez, director of public affairs and communications for the Columbus Public Health Department, said Sunday. "We're not in a panic situation."
Two sisters, ages 4 and 6, were taken to Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus early Sunday morning after they showed signs of a fever, Rodriguez said.
They are being kept in isolation and are receiving supportive care, Rodriguez said. Doctors are also testing the girls for other respiratory illnesses, like influenza and enterovirus D68, Rodriguez said.
The girls' mother is not being held in isolation. She was not identified as a high-risk individual, Rodriguez explained, because she was not in Sierra Leone as a health care worker.
The identities of the girls and their mother have not been released.
The girls returned from Sierra Leone 17 days ago, Rodriguez said. Since returning, their temperatures have been monitored twice daily.
Rodriguez said the girls will remain in isolation for several days. If they test negative for Ebola, they will likely be tested again.
EMS staff who took the children to the hospital wore protective gear and are not considered to be at risk for contracting the virus. They will be monitored if the children test positive for the virus, according to the Columbus Health Department.
The children's test results were expected later Sunday.
The Columbus Health Department was working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the state health department on the situation.
Sierra Leone is one of the four countries hardest hit by the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.
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