Local News

Burr confident of NC's ability to handle potential Ebola outbreak

Posted October 5, 2014
Updated October 6, 2014

— Sen. Richard Burr on Sunday said that he is confident North Carolina has the resources to respond effectively to the Ebola virus, should there be a need.

But the Republican member of the state's congressional delegation told WRAL News that local emergency and public health offices across the state should take time now to review their planned responses to, not only Ebola, but other infectious diseases.

"North Carolina and every state in the country is more than equipped to handle any disease outbreak that we might have," Burr said. "It's a matter of reminding ourselves of exactly the procedures we've got to follow."

Wake County is doing just that.

The county's Board of Commissioners will receive an update at its 2 p.m. meeting Monday on the county's preparedness, should there be an Ebola outbreak in Wake County.

Sen. Kay Hagan, who was unavailable for an interview Sunday, said in a statement that, she believes "we must remain vigilant to prevent any potential spreading of the Ebola virus within our borders."

"Health care professionals should continue to be on high alert, and if additional cases are identified, appropriate follow-up steps must be taken swiftly, including contact tracing to monitor those individuals who may be at risk," Hagan said.

Burr also said Sunday that he believes the U.S. is far from an epidemic, echoing comments from the nation's top infectious diseases expert.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, of the National Institute of Public Health, appeared Sunday morning on CBS's "Face the Nation," saying scientists in the U.S. know how to stop the virus from spreading.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has consulted with hospitals about more than 100 potentially suspicious cases in recent months. More than a dozen were worrisome enough to merit Ebola blood tests.

Only one patient in Dallas has been diagnosed.

Experts cite lack of experience with the disease, a shortage of medical supplies and personnel and widespread poverty as contributing factors to the spread of the disease in West Africa.

The virus that causes Ebola is not airborne and can be spread only through close contact with someone who has symptoms.

People have to come into direct contact with the patient's bodily fluids — blood, sweat, vomit, feces, urine, saliva or semen — and those fluids must have an entry point.


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  • Danny22 Oct 6, 2014

    Miseem, for starters, the gov't can ban travel from ebola infected countries. Our Texas liar wouldn't be here. Another thing, Somebody needs to investigate how a foreigner can buy a ticket 2 weeks before they come. Our visas and open borders need to be reworked for the safety of our country. We have a boatload of infection coming thru our borders too.

  • miseem Oct 6, 2014

    View quoted thread

    And what should the government have done to prevent this? Can't increase funds for public health, that might raise taxes. Can't inconvenience travelers from overseas with long waits to get through customs, since the job creating businesses rely on outsourced jobs and tourists, and obviously, anyone without health insurance just needs to go off into the woods somewhere and leave us paying customers alone. Besides, why are you proposing the US become a nanny state, protecting us from all hazards from cradle to grave? Sounds like socialism to me. And another question on another posting - why was Burr doing an interview in a bar?

  • Mike C Oct 6, 2014
    user avatar

    If our government had done its job, we would not have to worry about NC's or any other states ability to handle a potential outbreak of ebola.

  • raleighboy524 Oct 6, 2014

    We'll be in even better shape once the GOP cuts even more money from public health.

  • lessismore Oct 6, 2014

    Seems he is expecting an Ebola outbreak.... What do our leaders in Washington know that they won't tell us?

  • bubbaOK Oct 6, 2014

    Is senator Burr aware that it's a plague that kills doctors and medical helpers or is this dangerously naive bandwagoning.

  • xylem01 Oct 6, 2014

    I was really looking forward to the state fair but won't be going now. Who knowws where all those people have traveled to or been exposed to.

  • Thomas Hannan Oct 6, 2014
    user avatar

    DANNY22 - "There is a law in place already that has been followed in the past,"

    Hmm... what law is that?

  • Lucas Turner Oct 6, 2014

    In a time of national and international grave concern our second United States Senator, Kay Hagan, is unavailable for comment. That's pretty disheartening.

  • Fred Garner Oct 6, 2014
    user avatar

    I didn't know Sen. Burr was still around. What's he done and where's he been? Talk about a ghost Senator.......