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Texas Infectious Disease Experts Recommend Google App For Fighting Ebola

Lizzie Chen for KUT News
The Dec. 1, 2014 report of the Texas Task Force on Infectious Disease has been released, and contains 17 issues and recommendations for the state to follow.

A group of Texas experts on infectious disease has submitted a report with advice on how to handle any future outbreaks of viruses like Ebola.

The Texas Task Force on Infectious Disease chose technology as one of its priorities. Dr. Brett Giroir, the task force director, says they ended up working with Google on an app, which allows someone being monitored to enter his or her temperature and a public health official would have access to that.

"It really gives everyone a better picture of how people are doing in real time, which is really needed," he says. "If this outbreak had been much larger it would’ve been impossible to do it by paper and just running all over the region to track people."

The app is being tested in mock outbreak situations now.

The team also recommends keeping exposed pets in a quarantine facility and  urges cremations instead of burials. [Read a PDF version of the report here]

Giroir says he also doesn’t want the task force to go away, and hopes experts will be kept on in an advisory role moving forward.

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