Get up to speed on the latest Ebola developments

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The United Nations said it’s unnecessary to quarantine people just because they came from Ebola-afflicted countries. Yet parts of the United States and Canada are tightening their Ebola policies.

Here are the latest developments:

WEST AFRICA DEVELOPMENTS

Automatic quarantines not necessary

“People do not need to be quarantined unless they have come into contact with people have Ebola or unless they have symptoms,” Dr. David Nabarro, U.N. system coordinator on Ebola, said Friday.

Liberian outbreak could be tapering off

Nabarro expressed cautious optimism about the apparent slowing of the infection rate in Liberia, saying the numbers “look quite exciting right now.” But he said authorities “do not always have timely production of full data.” He warned that reduction does not always mean it’s under control. “The outbreak ends when the last case of Ebola has been treated,” he said.

Death toll keeps climbing

Almost 5,000 people have died from Ebola during the current outbreak, the World Health Organization said Friday. The vast majority of the deaths have been in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.

U.S. DEVELOPMENTS

Ohio tightens restrictions on those from West Africa

Ohio is the latest state enacting stronger policies on those arriving from the afflicted West African countries. Those who were exposed to a “potentially infected person” must be quarantined at home, with daily health checks by a public health official for 21 days, the state’s health department said. Anyone arriving from those countries who did not have exposure to anyone potentially infected must undergo daily health checks by a public health official for the 21 days and avoid public places.

Oregon patient quarantined

A female who traveled from West Africa to the Portland area and had been self-monitoring for symptoms was hospitalized and quarantined after developing a fever, the Oregon Health Authority said. The patient woke up Friday, took her temperature and learned it was over 102 degrees, said Julie Sullivan-Springhetti of the Multnomah County Health Department. She was taken in a specially-equipped medical transport vehicle to Providence Milwaukie Hospital.

DEVELOPMENTS IN OTHER COUNTRIES

Canada suspends visa applications

Canada will stop processing visa applications from foreign nationals who have visited the three most afflicted countries, citizenship and immigration minister said. The changes do not affect Canadians currently in West Africa, the news release said. Health care workers in West Africa will be permitted to travel back to Canada.

The action is similar to that taken by Australia several days ago.