Obama Health Official: Ebola Can Spread Through Bus Sweat

Patrick Howley Political Reporter
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Department of Health and Human Services Assistant Secretary Dr. Nicole Lurie said in sworn testimony that Ebola can spread through perspiration left on a bus seat.

Republican Kentucky Rep. Thomas Massie grilled Lurie at Friday’s House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing on the federal government’s response to the Ebola outbreak, where Lurie admitted that Ebola can be spread through bus perspiration.

Massie asked Lurie whether or not Ebola can survive on inert surfaces for at least 15 minutes. Lurie replied that “it can survive.” Massie then asked whether Ebola could be transmitted on a bus. Lurie said that someone would have to be exposed to infected bodily fluids. Massie asked if that includes perspiration.

“It does include perspiration,” Lurie replied.

Other panelists at the hearing sitting beside Lurie also confirmed the possibility of Ebola transmission through bus perspiration.

“That could include perspiration,” said International Medical Corps. official Rabih Torbay, adding that bus transmission “could be possible.”

“It can be transmitted through sweat,” said Marine Corps Major General James Lariviere.

The White House successfully pressured New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie to end their states’ quarantine policy for health-care workers who have treated Ebola patients — a policy put in place after the first Ebola diagnosis in New York City Thursday night.

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Patrick Howley