On August 8, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the Ebola epidemic to be a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC).
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has stated that a widespread outbreak in the U.S. is highly unlikely because of our sophisticated medical and public health infrastructure. However, the system is only as strong as its weakest link, and violation of basic precautions has already necessitated the monitoring of 100 contacts of one patient in Dallas who entered by air from Liberia.
Basic public health principles dictate that epidemics need to be contained at the source. Even a “small outbreak” of Ebola would be extremely costly in lives and treasure.
Hemorrhagic fever viruses such as Ebola have been widely discussed as a biological weapon. Deliberate introduction of such a weapon, whether in a warhead or a human vector, would be an act of war and a crime against humanity. Protection of our population is a matter of national security.
In addition to the Ebola threat, thousands of American children have been sickened, a few have died, and some have been paralyzed, probably permanently, because of enterovirus D-68. The CDC has been silent about the source of this epidemic. It is speculated that it could be from sending tens of thousands of children from an endemic region to American schools.
Since the primary role of the federal government is to protect the citizenry, AAPS calls for congressional hearings and consideration of legislation to:
- Require persons entering the U.S. from West Africa or other areas reporting Ebola to undergo a 25-day period of quarantine;
- Require that all illegal entrants undergo an adequate period of quarantine with screening to assure freedom from tuberculosis, infestation with scabies or lice or other ectoparasites, or other communicable diseases;
- Protect whistleblowers who report potential public health threats;
- Assure that timely and accurate information is reported to the public and medical facilities about the existence of threats and effective precautions.
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.