Be Better Informed About Ebola

Oct 14, 2014
Health Care
Press

McMorris Rodgers Statement on Ebola Crisis

WASHINGTON, DC – Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA-05) issued the following statement today after President Obama appointed Ron Klain to serve as the Administration’s Ebola response coordinator.

“We must do everything possible to protect the American people from the growing and life-threatening risk of Ebola.  As more cases are diagnosed, especially in light of the recent reports, I expect the Administration and Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to act swiftly and aggressively to not only combat this epidemic, but also gain the trust and confidence of the American people every step of the way.  A biosecurity threat of this nature requires a comprehensive strategy across multiple federal agencies – not just a single official. 

“I urge the Administration to consider immediate travel restrictions – such as visa bans for non-US nationals in the West African countries most impacted – in addition to making sure the CDC and other agencies have the resources they need to train and equip health care professionals to fight this virulent disease.  I will continue to advance efforts to assist the Administration’s response to combat the Ebola outbreak – including the recent approval of $750 million to support Operation United Assistance, the Department of Defense-led mission.  This is a public health emergency – and it should be met with aggressive, coordinated, and immediate action.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is working to prevent Ebola victims from coming into contact with others. The CDC is also working with the Department of Homeland Security to monitor airports and to screen those with symptoms of infection.

In the House, the Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations is closely monitoring the impact of the disease, and will hold a hearing, Examining the U.S. Public Health Response to the Ebola Outbreak, on Thursday, October 16, regarding the ongoing outbreak.

What is Ebola?

Ebola is a rare and deadly disease caused by infection with one of the Ebola virus strains. It was first discovered in 1976 near the Ebola River in what is now the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Since then, outbreaks have appeared sporadically in Africa.

It is caused by infection with a virus of the family Filoviridae, genus Ebolavirus. There are five identified Ebola virus species, four of which are known to cause disease in humans.

The natural reservoir host of Ebola virus remains unknown. However, researchers believe that the virus is animal-borne and that bats are the most likely host of the disease. Four of the five virus strains occur in an animal host native to Africa.

The incubation period for Ebola is generally eight to 10 days; but it can be as short as two days or as long as 21 days. 

*Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

As numerous reports about Ebola and Ebola’s impact in the United States come out, please use these government resources to better understand this virus:

Click here for updates regarding the Ebola virus (CDC)

Click here to better understand how the virus is transmitted (CDC)

Click here for a list of prevention tips (CDC)

Click here for a record of current and past outbreaks (CDC)

Click here to better understand treatment for Ebola (CDC) 

What to do if returning to the U.S. from an area where an outbreak is occurring:

Monitor your health for 21 days if you were in an area with an Ebola outbreak, especially if you were in contact with blood or body fluids, items that have come in contact with blood or body fluids, animals or raw meat, or hospitals where Ebola patients are being treated or participated in burial rituals.

Seek medical care immediately if you develop fever (temperature of 101.5°F/ 38.6°C) and any of the following symptoms: headache, muscle pain, diarrhea, vomiting, stomach pain, or unexplained bruising or bleeding.

Tell your doctor about your recent travel and your symptoms before you go to the office or emergency room. Advance notice will help your doctor care for you and protect other people who may be in the office.

*Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Please visit this timeline of actions taken in the House to assist and assess the government's response to the Ebola outbreak. 

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