NIH official dismisses Paul's Ebola concerns

A top official at the National Institutes of Health on Sunday pushed back on comments from Sen. Rand PaulRand PaulWill Ted Cruz let it go? 5 takeaways from the rush for campaign cash Paul calls for end of gun-free zones MORE (R-Ky.), who said authorities were underestimating the transmissibility of Ebola.

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“I don't think that there's data to tell us that that's a correct statement, with all due respect,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, who directs the Allergy and Infectious Diseases Institutes at NIH, said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.” “We have had experience since 1976 with how Ebola is transmitted. And it is clear that it's transmitted by direct contact with body fluids, blood, diarrhea, vomit, or what have you.

“And there's no indication that there is another insidious way that it's transmitted that we're missing because of the experience that we've had. So, we've really gotta go with the evidence base. There's always hypothesis and surmising about that, but there's no scientific evidence,” he added.

Fauci also said Paul’s concern for U.S. troops in West Africa was unwarranted.

“I'm sorry, but that's really not a concern,” he said. “First of all, the troops that are going over there are going to be fundamentally for logistic purposes, command, control, engineering, setting up the hospitals. They're well trained. They will not be in direct risk in the sense of contact with individuals.”

Fauci said there are protocols in place to prevent the spread of Ebola if military personally do come in contact with infected individuals.

“So, I don't and the army does not have any real concern that those 3,000 to 4,000 are going to be in danger.”

Fauci also said that he believes the Ebola case in Dallas has been contained.

“The way you classically prevent an outbreak is you put the person who's the index person under isolation and care. Mr. Duncan is in that situation,” he said. “And then, you do what you just heard here, is that you do what's called contact tracing. People who have come into direct contact with the patient are observed for a period of 21 days. If they develop symptoms, they're put in isolation. And if they have Ebola, they are treated. And when you put that umbrella over the people who have been the contacts, that's how, traditionally, over the years in Africa, outbreaks have been controlled.”

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'We won't have an outbreak," NIH official says