Senate Aide: Committee Staff In 'Regular Contact' with CDC, CBP about Ebola Outbreak

The Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention downplayed concerns that the Ebola virus could reach the United States through the southern border this week, but Senate committee staffers are keeping an eye out for such a possibility.

“Committee staff are in regular contact with CDC, [Customs and Border Protection], and other agencies to monitor the Ebola virus outbreak in Western Africa,” a Senate aide wrote in an email to Breitbart News Friday. “Our porous southern border remains a major concern.”

The aide noted that given the differences in traditions between the West African countries where the outbreak has centered and the U.S., outbreaks in the U.S. are not as likely. 

“But differences between U.S. medical and cultural practices and those of Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Guinea make an Ebola virus outbreak much less likely in the U.S.,” the aide explained. 

According to the aide, CBP staff have been trained to identify Ebola symptoms. 

“In addition, CBP employees have been trained to identify Ebola virus symptoms in those crossing the border and have the authority (with approval by public health officials) to quarantine U.S. citizens thought to be infected by Ebola virus, and refuse entry to non-citizens thought to be infected,” the aide added. 

Thursday after a hearing on threat of Ebola CDC Director Tom Frieden brushed off concerns that Ebola would come across the southern border. 

“That is not happening,” he said. 

“As far as we know the two patients flown in from Liberia are the first two patients in this hemisphere ever to have Ebola,” Frieden added. 


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