U.S. Ebola Response Not Up to African Standards

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After the Oct 16 hearings before the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS), issued the following statement:

“The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) continues to deny that Ebola virus is a level-4 pathogen that can be safely handled only in a BSL-4 (biosafety-level 4) facility—as was known in the 1970s. Such facilities protect against potentially contaminated air.

“Recognizing the severity of the threat, nearly all African nations are barring entry to persons from Sierra Leone, Guinea, and Liberia. At the hearing, CDC director Thomas Frieden disclaimed knowledge of these actions. He said the CDC was handing out ‘tear sheets’ to arriving passengers telling them to monitor their temperature.

“The CDC depends on a fever threshold (at first 101.5, then 100.4) as an indicator of contagion. Evidence from Africa shows that 13 percent of patients with Ebola never have a fever.

“CDC protocols for American hospital workers are extremely lax compared with those used by Doctors without Borders in Africa. Their workers are thoroughly decontaminated with heavily chlorinated water before removing their protective gear.

“Frieden refused to state that he had a high level of confidence in the safety of American troops being deployed to Africa, only saying that the risk was ‘not zero.’ Israel declined to send troops because of the risk that they would bring Ebola home with them.

“In 2010, the U.S. military dismantled its Aeromedical Isolation and Special Medical Augmentation Response Team (AIT-SMART), which was created in 1978 to evacuate patients under BSL-4 conditions.

“American physicians cannot rely on guidance from the CDC, which has compromised its main mission and diverted its resources to politicized goals.”

The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) is a national organization representing physicians in all specialties, founded in 1943 to preserve private medicine and the patient-physician relationship.

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