Migrants from other countries could present other health risks

Reportedly, Laredo’s health director claims 20 Congolese migrants were monitored for Ebola and other disease. He said the city government is working with charity organizations to provide health screenings, but 2,800 migrants have been released in Laredo at the bus station in the past two and a half months.

This time around, there aren’t any confirmed Ebola cases in Texas.

WHO said currently there are no cases of Ebola outside two provinces in North-east part of Congo. WHO considers the risk of the international spread as low.

During the last Ebola outbreak in 2014, Baylor built container-based triage units along borders, as well as labs. They were shipped from the Port of Galveston to West Africa in Liberia.

It’s like an 8x10 shipping container that’s turned into a respiratory isolation laboratory for highly contagious agents. It was sent to West Africa for training of Ebola management and laboratory technique.

Just last week, Baylor Global Health director Dr. Sharmila Anandasabapathy was on the phone with Uganda, which was asking for Baylor’s labs to be sent to the border.

World Health Organization said "currently there are no cases of Ebola outside two provinces in North-east part of Congo. WHO considers the risk of the international spread as low."

Anandasabapathy said testing needs to be done by someone who specializes and is highly educated in Global Health Security.

"When we think about security along borders and managing agents we can't just think in terms of agents that are transmitted by touch, or fluids, but also agents that are air select," said Anandasabapathy.

She said if there's a patient who came from an affected region and has symptoms, it's important that a team that has protective clothing, measures and knowledge to evaluate and handle the patient in a safe way.

"What we call kind of Global Health Security, preventing infectious agents from traveling over borders, is complicated," said Anandasabapathy.

She said there's cause for concern in Congo and the surrounding areas, but not in the United States. Patients need to be isolated and tested and warns that Americans shouldn’t overreact.

However, the initial symptoms of fever, chills and fatigue can mimic other infectious diseases.

She said there are more deaths from respiratory viruses, like the flu, tuberculosis and RSV, than Ebola. The mortality rate for Ebola is so high. Currently, malaria is a bigger concern than Ebola.

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