A Simple Question Can Stop Ebola: How Do You Feel? : Shots - Health News Modern medicine offers no easy way to spot Ebola early. The key to preventing an outbreak is still old-fashioned detective work.
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A Simple Question Can Stop Ebola: How Do You Feel?

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A Simple Question Can Stop Ebola: How Do You Feel?

A Simple Question Can Stop Ebola: How Do You Feel?

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RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

In Texas, health officials say, they have narrowed down the people who came in contact with a man infected with Ebola. They're watching that group loosely to make sure the disease doesn't spread. Finding and tracking potential contacts is the job of a team from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. NPR's Geoff Brumfiel caught up with the head of that team today.

GEOFF BRUMFIEL, BYLINE: David Kuhar arrived in Dallas on Tuesday night. He's heading up a 10-person CDC team that is here to stop Ebola. So far, he says, so good.

DAVID KUHAR: It is progressing well.

BRUMFIEL: How much sleep are you getting right now?

KUHAR: Not enough.

BRUMFIEL: That's because Kuhar's team has been on the streets, along with local and state authorities, tracking down every single person who might have come in contact with Thomas Eric Duncan, the man now sick with Ebola. They ask questions and try to figure out what kind of contact each person may have had.

KUHAR: If they shook hands, how long did you shake hands with them? (Laughter). You know, if you touched them, how long did you touch them? What were the circumstances under which you touched them?

BRUMFIEL: Yesterday, authorities said that 100 people were at risk, but today, they lowered that number. It turned out a lot of people on the first list didn't have the sort of contact that would cause them to catch Ebola from Duncan. The virus only spreads through direct contact with body fluids. But CDC detectives did find 50 people who did have significant contact, 10 of whom are at high risk. They're now checking them all every day. And if someone gets sick, and it's Ebola...

KUHAR: We would ensure that they are appropriately isolated and treated to ensure that there are no further transmissions.

BRUMFIEL: This process is how you stop an Ebola outbreak before it starts. There are no fancy scanners or tests - just a quick check for a fever and then the question, how are you feeling today? GEOFF Brumfiel, NPR News, Dallas.

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