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February 13, 2016

CDC Director Details U.S. Efforts to Contain Ebola ‘At the Source’ With Airport Screening (Video)

The director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Thomas Frieden, told a House hearing Thursday that his agency has deployed teams who are working with officials in four African countries hit by the Ebola pandemic to help them screen departing passengers at the nations’ airports.

The four affected countries are Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone.

“We can stop Ebola” and “we have to stop it at the source in Africa,” Frieden told the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations.

He said the procedures to be used at airports include “questions to be asked” and “lists to be cross-matched of known patients and known contacts.”

He added that “all of those procedures take time to set up, but we do have teams working on them now.”

Frieden said, “If someone became ill on the plane and was having fever or started bleeding, then for example that might present a risk for those who came in contact with that and didn’t take appropriate precautions.”

“We have provided very detailed advice to the airlines,” Frieden said, on how to handle potential Ebola-infected passengers.

Another subcommittee witness, Ken Isaacs, former director of the Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance at the U.S. Agency for International Development, said the international response to the Ebola outbreak has been a failure.

Isaacs, who is now vice president at Samaritan’s Purse, an aid group working in Liberia, said the African governments are overwhelmed by the Ebola epidemic and not capable of containing it.

Nonetheless, he said “The public health of the world is in their hands.”

According to the World Health Organization, as of Monday, the cumulative number of cases attributed to Ebola in the four African countries stood at 1,711, including 932 deaths. The largest number of confirmed deaths caused by Ebola has been in Sierra Leone, with 247 as of Monday. Isaacs told the subcommittee that he thought the WHO figures understate the actual incidence of Ebola by 25 percent to 50 percent.

Comments (5)

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  1. Misanthrope

    Aug. 8, 2014
    9:31 a.m.

    Oh, good. The governments of Africa are on the case. We can all sleep better now.

  2. vendome

    Aug. 8, 2014
    11:18 a.m.

    People from ebola countries are already at our southern border. Note following:

    71 individuals from the three Ebola epicenter countries—Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone—have either turned themselves in or been apprehended at the US Southern border.

    Do any of them have Ebola? Or could any of them be asymptomatic carriers? As things stand now, it’s hard to know, because the US Government policy on possible contagion is this: Officials ask the person if he or she has any communicable diseases, and if the answer is “no,” officials take his or her word for it.

  3. Shootist

    Aug. 8, 2014
    1:10 p.m.

    The US should close DHS/TSA and give America it’s liberty back.

    Save America from the Security Surveillance Police State: Re-elect no one.

  4. Hugh Jass

    Aug. 15, 2014
    5:39 a.m.

    In a related video we find a brief overview of the serious harm that Obamacare is imposing upon Americans:

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