Schumer Also Announces CDC Is Creating Database of Travelers from Ebola Hotspots For Use By Hospitals & Health Departments

Today, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer highlighted today that while there is no need to panic, it is critical to remain vigilant in New York City against the threat of Ebola, given the deadly nature of this virus. Schumer offered two ways to boost protections specifically in the State of New York. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) does not currently have teams mobilized in New York, even though JFK and Newark receive the vast majority of travelers to America from the Ebola hotspots in West Africa. Instead, CDC teams are stationed in Atlanta, Texas, Ohio and Nebraska. Given the relatively high level of traffic coming from West Africa into JFK, Schumer said that first, the CDC should immediately station a team of health experts in New York City, ahead of any potentially confirmed case of Ebola in the region. Schumer said that with the CDC already in New York, these health experts would be able to rapidly deploy their teams and take over any confirmed case of Ebola in a matter of minutes, rather than hours. Schumer said this could make a significant difference in containing the virus in such a densely populated area.

Second, Schumer said today that this CDC team, once stationed in New York City, should inspect the facilities, equipment and protocols at New York City’s hospitals, as an additional layer of security and protection. While Schumer said he has full confidence in the health professionals and facilities in New York City, this new virus poses a serious threat to healthcare workers and the general public alike, and the expertise of the CDC is important in ensuring that all possible protections are being utilized and properly practiced.

Schumer also announced a new step that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is taking to combat Ebola. Schumer highlighted that in the last two weeks, the CDC and other federal agencies have worked to improve the intensity and frequency of airport screening at international airports on U.S. soil, like JFK, and have also increased the screening of individuals on ships that come into port from the three countries with Ebola outbreaks. Two weeks ago, Schumer also called for the CDC to create a database of travelers coming from these hotspots that could be made available to hospitals to search an individual’s name and travel history if they are displaying potential symptoms of Ebola. Schumer said today that the CDC has heeded that call and will create a one-stop resource for local health departments and health officials to search in order to determine key information about a patient’s travel history. The CDC is gathering this information at airports and making it available to state and local health departments, that will in turn make it available to local hospitals.


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