Tags: Ebola Outbreak | Ebola | Lamar Alexander | drugs | Vanderbilt | US | America

Sen. Lamar Alexander: Doctors Ready If Ebola Reaches America

By    |   Thursday, 25 Sep 2014 11:36 AM

Doctors are prepared to stop the deadly Ebola virus from spreading if the disease comes to the United States, said Tennessee GOP Sen. Lamar Alexander.

The ranking Republican on the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions made the conclusion after meeting with leading physicians and scientists accompanied by a tour of laboratory facilities at Vanderbilt University on Wednesday, according to USA Today.

"I saw them making the antibodies that they will give to healthcare workers treating people with Ebola," Alexander said after the event with the experts. "It's not an approved solution yet, but it's further along than anything else I've heard of."

Alexander said Ebola will continue to be out of control in Africa until the incidence of infections begins to decrease. He said the United States should have acted sooner to stop its spread.

"Until, in the words of several of the people here, until we turn that curve downward and the number of infections starts to go down instead of up, we have an out-of-control epidemic that could be one of the most serious we've seen," Alexander said, USA Today reported.

"Fortunately, Congress and the president and the rest of the world are now beginning to react to this in the way I wish we had a few months or weeks earlier. Hopefully it's enough to turn the tide."

Dr. Tim Jones, the Tennessee state epidemiologist, predicted that while cases will spring up in the U.S., the risks are low that it will spread.

"Do we think it will ever become widespread in a community? Not at all," Jones said. "I think we're very well prepared."

Dr. James Crowe, a professor of pediatrics who accompanied Alexander on the tour, said it will be a long process to develop anti-Ebola drugs, possibly as long as 25 years.

"Of course we feel anxious to take the work we've done and push it into practice," Crowe said, according to USA Today. "We're working 24/7 here to get our drugs scaled up. The reality is, this current outbreak is going to be stopped by public health measures, not by drugs."

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Doctors are prepared to stop the deadly Ebola virus from spreading if the disease comes to the United States, said Tennessee GOP Sen. Lamar Alexander.
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Thursday, 25 Sep 2014 11:36 AM
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