Is the US ready for Ebola on American soil?

Is the US ready for Ebola on American soil?



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ATLANTA — Experts say if Ebola were to arrive on American soil, fighting its spread could be made easier depending on where and how it gets here.

Deputy POLITICO health editor Susan Levine told Utah's Morning News on KSL Newsradio it helps that the U.S. medical system is far more developed and capable of dealing with the detection and surveillance that would be needed for an outbreak.

"People have every right to be concerned," Levine says, "but it's a very different health care setting here than in west Africa."

Levine's article for POLITICO points out a top CDC official used the word "eventuality" to describe whether he felt Ebola would arrive in the U.S.

"The longer the outbreak goes in west Africa and the bigger it goes," Levine says, "[the odds] are exponentially greater... [C]ertainly the chance of the virus moving beyond borders and including to this country with global travel increase much more."

"Certainly the CDC is preparing," Levine says, adding the U.S. was recently named in a study as at top country at risk for Ebola. Those preparations include heightened awareness and education across the country. Because of that, she says most hospitals know how to respond if someone who has been to west Africa shows up with symptoms of the virus, and would likely serve as a first line of defense against its spread.

POLITICO reports U.S. officials have tracked around a dozen suspected cases in this country since the west African outbreak began. No case has tested positive for Ebola. Becky Bruce is the executive producer of Utah's Morning News on KSL Newsradio.

Becky Zani

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