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Pressure builds for travel ban after second Ebola case

A patient transported from Frisco, TX with concerns of possible exposure to Ebola arrives at the Emergency Room entrance of Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas in Dallas, TX on Wednesday, Oct. 8, 2014. (AP Photo/The Dallas Morning News, Louis DeLuca)

The weekend diagnosis of another Ebola victim in the United States is prompting members of Congress to renew their call for ban on people traveling from West Africa, something the Obama administration is still resisting.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Sunday that a Texas health care worker contracted the virus in some unknown way after treating first U.S. Ebola victim, Thomas Duncan.

The CDC continues to insist that stopping people traveling from Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone from entering the United States would be counter-productive to the goal of stopping Ebola in West Africa. But the second diagnosis, and CDC's warning that more Ebola cases are "possible" in the United States, represents a new level of anxiety that some members say should be met with tougher travel restrictions.

On Sunday, House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul (R-Texas) said the government should consider suspending the visas of anyone traveling out of the three Ebola-ravaged nations.

"I think we need to target more the individual themselves, and look at the idea of potentially temporarily suspending the 13,000 visas that would be coming out of this region," he said on CBS.

Last week, officials from CDC and the Department of Homeland Security said there are no direct flights from these countries. That means banning people from entering would require a system that checks whether they are traveling indirectly from West Africa, something a visa suspension could potentially handle.

Another Republican member of the House from Texas, Rep. Blake Farenthold, said he could agree to a this option.

"I do think that's a reasonable precaution," he said on Fox News. "[W]e need to be much more careful who we let in, and how closely we monitor them."

Another Republican said it's "crazy" not to be considering some kind of travel limitation in light of the most recent diagnosis.

"Allowing people to come from outbreak areas into the United States threatens the lives and health of American citizens," he told the News Courrier in Alabama. "It's crazy and irresponsible."

While members of Congress are focused on the mid-term election, it's possible that some will call for legislation to force the Obama administration's hand if the virus spreads further. However, a House aide told TheBlaze this week that no decisions have been made at this point on legislation.

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