Guest post by Kristinn Taylor
Liberian health workers in protective gear on the way to bury a woman who died of the Ebola virus from the isolation unit in Foya, Lofa County, Liberia on July 2, 2014. (TIME)
The Obama administration is taking “every precaution” to prevent the deadly Ebola virus from being brought to Washington D.C. as thousands of African government officials and young leaders, including those from countries affected by the current Ebola outbreak, gather in the nation’s capital for two summits hosted by President Barack Obama.
Speaking at Monday’s State Department briefing, spokeswoman Jen Psaki responded to a question about the Ebola outbreak affecting the summit(s):
“QUESTION: And can I just ask – sorry, Nicole, because I know you had other questions – but is this going to affect in any way the planning for next week’s summit of African leaders in the White House and State Department?
“MS. PSAKI: Obviously, we’re taking every precaution, but at this point we don’t believe it will.”
The death of Liberian government official Patrick Sawyer from the Ebola virus after he flew to Nigeria from Liberia via Togo has alarmed the international community as it showed that plane passengers could spread the virus around the world unnoticed until it is too late.
Sawyer was on his way to an international conference when he fell ill and died.
Two American health workers have recently been infected with Ebola in Liberia. The family of one Ebola victim that recently returned from Liberia to the United States is being observed for 21 days for signs of the virus though they have so far tested negative.
Sawyer’s family lives in Minnesota. His wife and three daughters were not at risk as they had not had recent contact with him.
As reported earlier by The Gateway Pundit, President Barack Obama invited the leaders of 50 African nations to the summit, in addition to holding a separate summit this week for young African leaders. Leaders from the four nations hit by Ebola deaths are on the list of invitees: Liberia, Guinea, Sierra Leone and Nigeria. The summits will affect large swaths of Washington, D.C. including Georgetown, Foggy Bottom, the Maine Avenue waterfront and areas around the White House.
Psaki did not specify what precautions the government was taking to prevent the Ebola virus from being brought to Washington, D.C. The virus can be spread by close contact with bodily fluids. The chance of the Ebola virus showing up at the summit is low, but should it infect people in Washington, D.C. it would cause global concerns.
NBC News reported the CDC is not very concerned about Ebola reaching the United States:
“Ebola poses little risk to the U.S. general population,” Stephan Monroe of CDC’s National Center for Emerging & Zoonotic Infectious Diseases told reporters in a conference call. It’s because you have to be in direct contact with someone who is ill to become infected.
““Transmission is through direct contact with the bodily fluids of an infected person,” Monroe said. That includes vomit, blood or diarrhea. “Individuals who are not symptomatic are not contagious,” he said.
“The incubation period can last for as long as 21 days, meaning it can take 21 days for someone to develop symptoms after being in contact with an infected person. So in theory, someone could be infected and get on a plane to travel to the U.S. before he or she got sick. But the odds of this are low.”
The current Ebola outbreak is reported to be a record setter having infected over 1200 and killing nearly 700 people.