U.S. preparedness tied with global response

With the outbreak of Ebola hemorrhagic fever raging in West Africa and cases appearing in Spain and Dallas, U.S. preparedness in the face of biological agents like Ebola or anthrax comes into question.

Would the U.S. be prepared in an outbreak?

The short answer is that with the advanced state of the medical field we would be prepared, Professor of Public Health Law and Ethics at Arizona State University's Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law James Hodge Jr. said.

"Let's be clear, we do not have an outbreak of Ebola," Hodge said. "If an outbreak were to come, we would be prepared. The U.S. has an advanced medical field that would be able to handle an outbreak."

Government at the federal, state and the local level is able to declare states of public health emergencies, thus releasing funding to preparedness efforts.

Despite a decade of preparedness programs and laws, the Dallas Ebola cases show a need for increased measures of detection and treatment. An increased global response is the most effective way of preventing outbreak domestically. Controlling the outbreak in Africa is key to saving lives, according to an article published by the Journal of the American Medical Association titled "Is the United States Prepared for Ebola?" co-authored by Hodge and Professor and Faculty Director of the O'Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law at Georgetown University Lawrence Gostin.