The U.S. is taking an even more direct interest in battling the Ebola outbreak in West Africa after President Obama authorized the Pentagon to send the National Guard there to help handle the situation. The executive order will allow 4,000 troops to be sent to Africa.
Nurse with Ebola transferred
Today Congress considered how Texas health officials handled the Ebola cases in their state. The New York Times reports that health officials were grilled about how they handled the Ebola cases. Today it was announced that a nurse at a Dallas hospital who contracted Ebola from the first U.S. patient will be transferred to Maryland’s National Institutes of Health.
The specialized unit there will be able to better treat her as the Dallas hospital struggles to monitor the dozens of other workers who might have been exposed to Ebola. The nurse, Nina Pham, is currently in stable condition. Another nurse at the same hospital was transferred to Atlanta’s Emory University Hospital.
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Congress weighs Ebola problem
At today’s Congressional hearing, lawmakers questioned why a second nurse who had contact with the first U.S. Ebola patient was able to board an airplane even after she said she had a fever.
Some lawmakers want to cut off all flights from affected countries, but others say that would be counterproductive. They say by banning travel from the affected countries, the U.S. will be unable to check travelers for fever and where they have been if they come into the country over land or some means other than air travel.
Washington is taking steps to reassure the American public that while the Ebola outbreak is serious, there’s no need to panic. Officials emphasized that while Ebola is one of the most deadly diseases, it can only be contracted through contact with an infected person’s bodily fluids. Health officials say it’s unlikely that those who traveled with the infected nurse on the airplane are at risk.