© 2020 Texas Public Radio
Real. Reliable. Texas Public Radio.
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Perry And Members Of Ebola Task Force Unhappy With Travel Restrictions--For Different Reasons

New federal restrictions on people traveling from any of three countries on an Ebola high alert aren’t sitting well with Texas Governor Rick Perry, or some on the governor’s Texas Task Force on Infectious Disease Preparedness and Response.  

Dr. Peter Hotez, an expert on tropical diseases and a member of Gov. Perry’s  task force, agreed that the current restrictions would serve as a way to play down fears. But he added, significantly, that without any advanced screening measures, airport security was likely to only stop one to two cases of Ebola from entering the country.

“Someone in the early stages of the disease, they have very little virus in their body, so the risk of transmitting the infection from person to person is very low. It safe to even go on an airplane with them,” he explained.

Dr. Hotez said that that’s the reason it would be hard to detect a virus at one of the five airports where screenings are taking place — if they’re early stage, they won’t show signs of Ebola and won’t be contagious.

Perry, meanwhile, isn’t pleased that the president hasn’t called for a total ban on those flying in from Liberia, Guinea or Sierra Leone. Speaking to reporters after a second Dallas nurse tested positive, he  said he had requested President Obama create a domestic no-fly list, one he could not order.. He added, however, that according to Texas law, the state department of health could quarantine a potential health threat and take legal action, if necessary, to ensure compliance.