More cases of the Ebola virus could be found in the United States, Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Sylvia BurwellSylvia Mathews BurwellOvernight Healthcare: GOP chairman to introduce pre-existing condition bill ObamaCare enrollment hits 11.5M for 2017 Obama, Dems eyeing strategy to defend ObamaCare MORE warned Thursday.
“We had one case and I think there may be other cases, and I think we have to recognize that as a nation,” Burwell said at a news conference sponsored by the journal Health Affairs and the Kaiser Family Foundation.
Another man in Dallas is being treated for possible Ebola symptoms.
Dozens of other hospitals around the country have reported false alarms of Ebola, including two in the D.C.-area. No one has been determined as having Ebola, including the nearly 50 people who had possible contact with Duncan.
Federal health officials have cautioned that there is no way to guarantee that Ebola will be kept out of the U.S. Steps taken to prevent victims from entering the country include new screenings at five U.S. airports.
Duncan died weeks after President Obama said the disease was “unlikely” to be carried into the country.
Thousands of state officials and hospital leaders have been instructed on how to handle potential cases from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in recent weeks.
Burwell said her agency supports the new airport procedures, but called exit screenings that are already happening in West African airports more crucial.
“The most important place with regard to taking care of screening is actually at the point of departure,” Burwell said. Those screenings have stopped at least 80 people from boarding flights, she said.
Burwell also fought back against claims that the restrictions were put in place solely to calm the public. “That screening has worked,” she said.