Ebola a question in 8th Congressional District debate | Michigan Radio
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Ebola a question in 8th Congressional District debate

Oct 1, 2014

Congressional candidates in mid-Michigan appeared together in a debate Tuesday night. The 8th District candidates were asked about the usual topics, and one very unusual topic.

Ebola virus
Credit CDC

Ebola.

The first case of Ebola diagnosed in the United States turned up in Texas.   

The man flew to the U.S. from Liberia in West Africa before he was diagnosed with the deadly virus. Officials say the unidentified patient is critically ill and has been in isolation at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital since Sunday.

The director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the patient left Liberia on Sept. 19, arrived in Dallas the next day to visit relatives, and started feeling ill four or five days later. He says it was not clear how the person became infected.

The CDC says passengers and crew who were on the same flight are not at risk because the patient had no symptoms when he traveled.  The disease is not contagious until symptoms begin, and it takes close contact with bodily fluids to spread.

Republican Mike Bishop
Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Eighth Congressional District Republican Mike Bishop and Democrat Eric Schertzing were at a debate last night in Brighton when the Ebola issue came up.

Mike Bishop questions whether the federal government has done enough to keep Ebola out of the U.S.

“It boggles the mind that we live in a world that we do that would allow this to happen, to be brought to our shores,” says Bishop.

But Eric Schertzing doubts there is much that could have been done to prevent Ebola from entering the U.S.

Democrat Eric Schertzing
Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

“It’s impossible to isolate diseases like that in any one region of the world as well as we would like,” says Schertzing.

But Schertzing says he’s not sure if President Obama’s sending U.S. troops to West Africa to assist local health officials is a good idea.