Lawmakers and the public are turning to The Heritage Foundation for leadership and answers about Ebola. A new report by Heritage expert David Addington explains the facts about Ebola, what we know about its spread, and what the government can do to contain it.
The basics about Ebola
Ebola symptoms are (1) fever greater than 101.5 degrees Fahrenheit, (2) severe headache, (3) muscle pain, (4) weakness, (5) diarrhea, (6) vomiting, (7) abdominal pain, and (8) unexplained bleeding.
Symptoms will begin anywhere from two to 21 days after exposure, though eight to 10 is typical.
Ebola is passed through contact with infected bodily fluids, and items that have been in contact with bodily fluids, such as needles and syringes. It does not spread through air, water, or, generally, food. People who have recovered from Ebola are no longer contagious. The mortality rate is around 50 percent.
What can you do?
In order to help prevent the spread of Ebola, practice careful hygiene. Carry an alcohol based hand-sanitizer and wash frequently with soap and water. Do not come into contact with the clothes, bedding, needles, medical equipment, or the live body or remains of an individual with Ebola.
What can our leaders do?
America has a long tradition of providing humanitarian assistance to countries in need, Addington notes, especially when a crisis may pose a direct threat to our homeland, like the Ebola virus does. That’s why American assistance to African countries suffering from Ebola is appropriate.
Domestically, “state, local, territorial, tribal and private sector medical personnel constitute the first responders to a serious communicable disease outbreak when it occurs in the United States.” If this response is insufficient to contain an outbreak, he adds, “the federal government can exercise broad legal authorities to address the situations.”
Lawmakers should also ensure timely and accurate information:
Those at the highest levels of responsibility in the U.S. Congress and executive branch should keep themselves fully informed on the health and economic consequences of the Ebola outbreak so they can help ensure (1) effective and efficient use of the substantial U.S. taxpayer funds involved, (2) that the professionals with the requisite training at all levels of government work together effectively, and (3) that the public is kept accurately informed in a timely manner. Both at home and abroad, and at all levels of government, the dissemination of accurate, understandable information about the Ebola situation, and about government and private responses to it, is crucial.
Read the rest of Addington’s report.
Please share this with your friends and family so that we can all stay safe.