'We won't have an outbreak,' NIH infectious disease chief says

Dr. Anthony Fauci, infectious disease chief at the National Institutes of Health, said Sunday that he wouldn’t be surprised if someone who came into close contact with the Dallas Ebola patient comes down with the disease, but stressed the U.S. "won't have an outbreak."

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There are nine people who were around the Dallas patient, Thomas Eric Duncan, after he started showing symptoms of the disease. They are being closely monitored for any signs of the deadly disease, he said.

In the broader scheme, Fauci said he doesn’t expect an outbreak on U.S. soil because of the strength of the healthcare system.

“Because of our healthcare system and our ability to do the contact tracing and isolation we won’t have an outbreak,” he said on “Fox News Sunday.”

“West Africa is not the United States. Unfortunately, those people there, because of the weaknesses of their health system, are having an outbreak. That won’t happen,” he said.

“It could be we see another case, but we won’t have an outbreak.”

Fauci argued against a travel ban in and out of those countries in West Africa being hit the hardest by the virus, saying it creates a “real danger of making things worse.”

“When you close off a country, you create such stress and fear and amplify the problem,” he said.

He also shot down any suggestions of immigrants carrying the disease in from the south or a terrorist spreading the disease as a bioweapon.

“I wouldn’t be worrying about illegal immigrants coming from southern borders when we have an issue right now with Ebola in West Africa,” he said.

“That’s a hypothetical that’s very far-fetched.”

He also said that “nature right now is the worst bioterrorist.”

“I’m worried more about the natural evolution in West Africa than I am about a terrorist deliberately spreading the virus.”