OUTBREAK “NOT IN THE CARDS,” GOVERNMENT SAYS
A deadly outbreak of Ebola in West Africa has sparked fears of a global pandemic – although the head of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says an outbreak of the virus is “not in the cards” for the United States.
“It is not a potential of Ebola spreading widely in the U.S.,” CDC director Dr. Thomas Frieden told reporters on a conference call this week. “That is not in the cards.”
Still, the agency issued its highest level travel warning for West Africa – where the disease is raging out of control. As of July 27, more than 1,300 people have been infected with Ebola in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia – with 729 of them dying from the virus.
After an incubation period ranging from two days to three weeks, Ebola victims begin experiencing nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Eventually their kidneys and livers begin to shut down, a process accompanied by mass internal hemorrhaging.
There is no treatment and no cure for the virus.
“This is a tragic, painful, dreadful, merciless virus,” Friedman said, adding the current outbreak was “the largest, most complex outbreak that we know of in history.”
But Friedman isn’t worried about Ebola spreading to America because “we have quarantine stations at all the major ports of entry.”
“Ebola poses little risk to the U.S. general population,” Friedman said.
That’s not stopping U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson – a Democrat from Florida – from urging precautionary measures. In a letter sent to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Department of Homeland Security secretary Jeh Johnson, Grayson said all citizens of the three affected countries as well as “any foreign person who has visited one of these nations nintey days prior to arriving in the United States” should be banned from entering the United States.
Two American doctors who traveled to Africa to help fight Ebola have been stricken by the virus – with one of them possibly en route “within the next several days” to a special isolation unit at Atlanta’s Emory University Hospital.