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Health & Science

Ebola: Just One Subject For New Infectious Disease Task Force

Director of Task Force on Infectious Disease Preparedness and Response visits Galveston.



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UTMB’s Galveston National Laboratory
Photo credit: Jennifer Reynolds, Photo Editor, The Galveston County Daily News

Dr Brett Giroir
Dr. Brett Giroir, director of the Texas Task Force on Infectious Disease Preparedness and Response speaks at UTMB’s Galveston National Laboratory.


Dr. Brett Giroir is the CEO of the Texas A&M Health Science Center.

Gov. Rick Perry nominated him to lead 16 members of the Texas Task Force on Infectious Disease Preparedness and Response. It includes Drs. James LeDuc and Tom Ksiazek of the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston.

After touring UTMB’s Galveston National Laboratory, where some of the world’s most infectious diseases are studied, Dr. Giroir talked about what the task force aims to accomplish.

“No. 1, we are all providing immediate support, assessment, guidance, recommendations and are in close contact with the team on the ground in Dallas managing the first Ebola case,” he said, “and all the monitoring of potential contacts and those exposed.”

 Giroir said the Dallas Ebola case will inevitably lead to lessons learned about how to better respond to another case in the future.

He said the task force will be working on recommendations for how to prepare for infectious diseases — and not just Ebola.

“We will control the current Ebola outbreak by public health measures,” Giroir said, “but right around the corner is West Nile virus, Dengue virus, Chagas disease, Chickungunya fever. All these that really are potential threats to the wellbeing and economy of our state and the nation, and we really pledge to get a unified plan to attack all of these.”

The task force will report its findings and recommendations to the governor and the state Legislature by Dec. 1.