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Fairfax: Ebola Not a Health Threat Here

by Karen Goff October 3, 2014 at 9:30 am 5 Comments

Ebola Virus/Credit: CDCEven though the man with the first confirmed case of Ebola in the United States spent three hours at Dulles International Airport nearly two weeks ago, Fairfax County Health Department officials say local residents do not need to take action.

Even though there has been a confirmed case of Ebola diagnosed in the United States, an outbreak of Ebola — like the one currently occurring in West Africa — is highly unlikely in the United States,” health department officials said in a statement.

The two main factors fueling the epidemic in West Africa are not present in the United States: a lack of infection control practices; and African burial rituals, such as washing the body of the deceased, the health department said.

The man, who flew from Liberia to Brussels, then Brussels to Dulles and then Dallas, was not ill during the flight so he was not contagious, the Centers for Disease Control said.

“The ill person did not exhibit symptoms of Ebola during the flights from West Africa and the CDC does not recommend that people on the same commercial airline flights undergo monitoring, as Ebola is contagious only if the person is experiencing active symptoms,” the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority said in a statement on Wednesday.

Fairfax County Health adds:

To prevent the spread of infectious diseases, the United States has a public health system that on a daily basis rapidly identifies/isolates people suspected of being sick and finds/contacts people who have been potentially exposed to the sick person. Public health systems like this do not exist in the African countries currently affected by the Ebola outbreak.

Coming into contact with people who do not have symptoms of Ebola poses no risk, even if they have recently traveled to affected countries in Africa

There is no action that people who live in the Fairfax community need to take as a result of the Ebola case recently identified in Dallas, Texas or the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.

  • Reality Bites

    I expected FFX County Health to declare victory over Ebola, short of causing a mass panic. Reality though, one of the reasons why Nigeria is ahead of other countries in spreading the disease is because they closed their borders. And so should the US. If the US were to take in any new cases for study purposes, like the three patients at Emory University, that is fine because it serves a meaningful purpose.

    Also, with respect to Reston ebola, its now understood that the virus can cause seroconversion, and in one case has infected human recently (via pig). This then also would require a full review with respect to the transport of animals.

  • Mike M

    Karen, what is this? Responsible journalism or something? Your job is to fan the flames of fear. Ebola is coming! Be very afraid! You should be asking random people at the Town Center people who know nothing but hearsay what they are going to do to protect themselves from the spreading Ebola epidemic. Yet, you dare to report the truth – it’s not really likely to e a major problem here. You best be careful lest you lose your mainstream media card! There is simply no room for non-sensational truth these days.

  • Doug J

    I don’t know how FFX can make that statement considering Dulles accepts flights from stricken areas weekly. It could arrive here – not that I am panicking just staying with an International Airport in our backyard the potential would be higher here than in other places. Happen in Houston could happen here.

  • Hoo Me

    Compassion? Always remember that Kathleen Sebelius refused to approve a waiver that would have put a dying child on a lung transplant list.

  • Joanna

    Here we find Joe Biden lying about the central government’s contraception dictates that are part of Obamacare: http://youtu.be/koa9Tozs1e4?t=6s

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