Sutton explains plan for Ebola task force

Published: Oct. 8, 2014 at 11:58 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 9, 2014 at 1:46 AM CDT
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LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Texas Tech School of Law Professor Victoria Sutton said she was doing research in Spain when she received a call from Governor Rick Perry.

"I was really pleased to hear that the state was concerned and taking some steps to address what might become a bigger problem," she said. "Considering the amount of resources that had to go into just one person, being able to plan, and hopefully prevent an overload of those resources was an excellent step for the Governor to take. I was really pleased to hear that."

She immediately flew back to Lubbock to begin her role on the task force.

"The objective of this task force is to do planning and look at resources," she said. "If you look at the makeup of the members of the committee, in addition to scientific and medical professionals and legal resources, many of the resource leaders of this state are on there like education, health and so forth."

Dr. Sutton brings her expertise in Biodefense which she said will play an important role.

"Sometimes the legal aspects of these things are as much a part of the conversation as the medical part and a lot of that is because we are such a serious country about civil rights and individual rights," she said. "I think that it makes sense to be able to deal with the legal issues right up front, because the sooner you know what your framework is in which you can work, then the faster you can move forward."

The task force hasn't had their first meeting yet, but Sutton says people need to be cautious.

"I would recommend that everyone be vigilant and be aware of the symptoms and people who have been traveling in that region and perhaps having contact with them," she said. "Every single day counts in an epidemic. It's well known that the earlier stages are where you can do something to slow down any kind of contact of infected people, and if you do, you are going to increase your chances of containing it dramatically."

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