TX Task Force Director: Airport Ebola Screenings Not Enough

TX Task Force Director: Airport Ebola Screenings Not Enough

Friday afternoon on CNN’s “The Situation Room,” host Wolf Blitzer asked Dr. Brett Giroir, director of the Texas Task Force on Infectious Disease Preparedness and Response, whether he thought airports should conduct health screenings on travelers from West African countries.

“I think the health screenings have been implemented, or they’re in the process of being implemented,” Giroir said.  “I think we have to be realistic, though that the health screenings rely on people self-reporting their contact and whether they had a fever or not, and with a 21-day incubation period like Mr. Duncan, it is very possible to go through a screening and not have a fever or undergo a variety of measures to mask that fever and still get in the county.”

“I think these screenings are an added benefit,” Giroir continued. “I think we certainly should do them and provide education to people coming, but we can’t rely on them to keep people who are potentially infected out of our region, out of our state or our country.”

Blitzer then asked Giroir if he thought there would be more cases of Ebola in Texas.

“It is certainly possible, while we still have people on the monitoring list for there to be additional cases,” Giroir said. “As has been said, and I’ve said many times, an epidemic anywhere is a threat to people everywhere, and as long as there’s an ongoing Ebola crisis in Africa with thousands and potentially up to hundreds of thousands of cases, we will see Ebola here again in the United States.”

Follow Daniel Nussbaum on Twitter @NussBB