Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Morgan Griffith on Ebola

(It's a judgment call...I think this global issue transcends "politics." At this stage, anyway.

I also think the main thing that could have been done in countries where ebola virus was not epidemic would have been to practice quarantine--no travel to and from countries where the epidemic was happening--and we've already not done that. So we are, basically, in the soup. But Congressman Griffith seems a little more optimistic...)

From Congressman Morgan Griffith's E-Newsletter:

"CDC Confirms: Ebola Case in the United States

Especially following the recent announcement that, for the first time on American soil, a patient has been diagnosed with Ebola, I am very concerned about the possibility of this deadly disease spreading around the globe. I will be at an Energy and Commerce hearing on the Ebola outbreak set for October 16.  Energy and Commerce is a committee with jurisdiction over health care.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), this patient – who traveled to Texas from West Africa (where several nations are in the midst of an Ebola outbreak) – did not have symptoms of the disease when departing, but developed them after having arrived in the United States.  Ebola’s symptoms may take as many as 21 days after infection to appear.

There have been legitimate calls for immigration and travel restrictions involving countries with Ebola outbreaks, but CDC officials have said such restrictions may make it harder to get medical personnel to those nations if they will then be unable to leave.

To resolve these concerns, we could consider limiting entry from afflicted countries to citizens and permanent residents of the United States.  Simultaneously, we could implement significant screening procedures and health monitoring up to 22 days after reentry.  This would give us assurance that those reentering the U.S. had not contracted the disease.

This is a global public health concern.  We in the United States must be vigilant.

At the hearing on the 16th, I want to discuss the CDC’s long-term plans for controlling the spread of Ebola in the United States!

The President is sending thousands of U.S. troops to West Africa to support health workers seeking to stop the spread of Ebola.  Additionally, I will ask how the CDC will deal with returning American troops who contracted Ebola while on duty in Africa.

Is there a question that you would like me to ask?  If so, please submit it for my consideration at https://morgangriffith.house.gov/contact."