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Local East Africans face unwarranted Ebola profiling

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Yesterday, the last patient known to have Ebola in the United States was released from a New York City hospital. Dr. Craig Spencer was infected with the virus while working in Guinea with the group Doctors Without Borders. His case contrasts with that of Kacie Hickox, the nurse from Maine who recently fought legal efforts to have her movements restricted following a stint in West Africa treating ebola patients.While there are no cases of ebola in mid-Michigan, the issue is causing a negative social ripple effect. In recent weeks, there have been at least two reported cases of Somali refugees in Lansing who’ve faced bullying and alleged mistreatment at the hands of medical professionals.

Current State talks with Judi Harris, director of refugee services at St. Vincent Catholic Charities in Lansing, Abdallah Mukoma, the president of the Lansing Somali Bantu Organization, and Linda Vail, the Public Health Officer for the Ingham County Health Department.

Kevin Lavery is a general assignment reporter and occasional local host for Morning Edition and All Things considered.
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