DALLAS, Texas — Alben Tarty, spokesman for the Liberian Community Association of DFW told Breitbart Texas, “The CDC has the situation under control,” he added, “we don’t want to panic people unnecessarily,” admitting that the local Liberian community has been shaken by the first reported case of Ebola in Dallas. Tarty is one of the community leaders rallying the families.
He told Breitbart Texas that tonight they intend to hold a community conference call to better inform and unite the approximately 10,000 strong Liberians who live across the Dallas Fort Worth area. While he is hopeful that more information becomes available from the CDC (Center for Disease Control), he wants to allay some of the very rattled nerves.
“We hope to get everyone on the call tonight,” Tarty said about the close knit community. He wants to make sure people have reliable information and know the steps to take especially if they an infected family member.
He told Breitbart Texas that, realistically, there is only so much community leader can do until the victim is identified and that information is released. Then, they will be able to know with whom the victim came in contact and better advise the community. “There is no real way to do anything until we know who the victim is and who came in contact with that person,” he added.
Until then, Tarty wants to make sure people who may think they have symptoms go to the hospital to prevent further spread of the often fatal disease. He also doesn’t want people to panic, though, and recommended precautions for high-risk communities or areas like public restrooms. He emphasized the value of washing one’s hands and possibly not shaking hands until the victim is identified.
“Good hygiene is a good place to start,” he said. However, he acknowledged, there is cause for concern of the virus spreading.
Tonight’s community call will also be where further community events or actions are decided. Although Tarty stated numerous times of his confidence in the CDC’s onsite handling of this outbreak at Dallas Presbyterian Hospital, he intimated concern.
“With the arrival of Ebola in Dallas, this is no longer a Liberian issue only. People can no longer be in denial about Ebola. The community at-large must come together to rid us of this virus,” he told Breitbart Texas inferring that now, the “Ebola” community is not just Liberian anymore. “Ebola doesn’t discriminate. It’s going to affect everyone. It doesn’t care if you are black or white, African, or American,” he said.
Tarty was surprised that to see a case of Ebola “slipped through the cracks.” He told Breitbart Texas, “everyone is carefully screened before leaving Liberia and re-screened before they are allowed to enter the United States.”
Breitbart Texas asked if the screening was dependent on showing any symptoms. Tarty said, “no.” He also added that they screen regardless of whether a person exhibits any fever or headaches or any other possible indicators of the deadly virus. “They would be able to detect it for a number of days,” he said.
Another reason for tonight’s community phone call is to support the community as much as possible emotionally. Although he reported no incidences of any discrimination, Tarty remains vigilant that with the arrival of Ebola in the United States, this might trigger panic and misdirected outrage.
Most importantly, though he said that as a community, “We are concerned for the family with the infected victim and we will pray for them.”
On Thursday, October 2, the Liberian Community Association is considering a candlelight vigil outside of the Dallas hospital where the victim is currently being treated.
As part of their regular Ebola awareness, the Liberian Community Association was already planning a Liberian Ebola fundraiser on October 18 in Arlington.
“The community is surviving this,” Tarty said. “It’s stressful and frustrating but we will continue to tell them there is no reason for unnecessary panic.”
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