DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — A Texas task force on Ebola released its full report Thursday, recommending the state create a bio-containment unit for children, identify quarantine facilities for potentially infected animals and stockpile personal protective equipment.
In a 174-page report from the Texas Task Force on Infectious Disease Preparedness and Response includes and builds on earlier recommendations it had made.
Governor Rick Perry assembled the task force after Texas became the first U.S. state where an Ebola case was diagnosed. Thomas Eric Duncan, who traveled from Liberia, died at a Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas on October 8. Two nurses who treated Duncan contracted Ebola but recovered.
“We think this report is important because it really gives a road map, not just what to do, but the process on how to continually do it to be prepared,” Dr. Brett Giroir, director of the task force and CEO of Texas A&M Health Science Center, told The Associated Press.
The report reproaches federal health officials for a lack of information on experimental drugs, saying “at best, information — when available — was piecemeal, abstract, incomplete and contained little actionable information such as where and how to get the therapeutic.”
“It was very difficult for care providers and really almost impossible to have easy access to information about what experimental therapies could be used, what their side effects were, what the objective information was and we believe there’s much work to be done in that regard,” Giroir said.
The task force said it has received no reply yet to a letter it sent Oct. 17 to Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Dr. Margaret Hamburg asking for educational briefings on experimental Ebola therapies in areas of the U.S. that have been affected.
An FDA spokeswoman on Thursday afternoon deferred comment until the report can be reviewed.
The bio-containment unit for children is being established in collaboration with Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston, where Giroir said it’s expected to be built in about eight months. That comes after the task force in October announced the designation of two bio-containment facilities, one in Richardson and another in Galveston.
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