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Government/Politics

Governor Perry Creates Ebola Task Force

Perry_Ebola.jpg
Ryan Poppe
/
TPR News
 
Texas Governor Rick Perry has created a special infectious disease task force aimed at stopping the spread of Ebola throughout the state. One of the duties of the Ebola task force will be to learn from the mistakes made in the state’s response to the Ebola case in Dallas.
 
 
This week, Governor Perry issued an executive order creating the Texas Task Force on Infectious Disease Preparedness and Response. It's a 17 member team made up of various state agencies and research teams from various colleges and universities.
 
 
Perry called it “A team charged with studying and improving our existing plans to enhance our ability to quickly and effectively halt the spread of emerging infectious diseases of all types.”
 
 
To head up the team, the Governor appointed Dr. Brett Giroir, the Executive Vice President and CEO of Texas A&M University Health Science Center. 
 
“Infectious disease outbreaks are real, they are inevitable and even more likely given our interconnected world where an outbreak anywhere is an outbreak everywhere,” Giroir said.
 
 
Dr. Giroir acknowledged a breakdown in communication at a Dallas Hospital when staff allowed a man carrying the disease to go home and again when officials allowed a child who had been exposed to Ebola to attend school. Governor Perry also called on the federal government to improve security measures at the country’s points of entry.
 
 
“Customs officials and Border Patrol Agents at all points of entry should immediately be directed to conduct enhanced screening procedures, obtaining more information about people coming from effected areas,” Perry said. He added that can be as simple as taking travelers temperature as soon as they enter the country.
 
This week the Texas Senate Committee on Health and Human Services will also take a comprehensive view about what administrative and legal changes need to happen to allow state agencies to better protect the general populous from the spread of Ebola.