Republicans in the US are refusing to give up on the idea that American-born Isis militants could infect themselves with Ebola and return home as some sort of bio-suicide bombers.

The latest is Pennsylvania congressman Mike Kelly, who said he wanted "people to think about this".

"Think about the job they could do, the harm they could inflict on the American people by bring this deadly disease into our cities, into schools, into our towns, and into our homes," he warned. "Horrible, horrible."

His congressional colleague Joe Wilson of South Carolina also raised the prospect of such an eventuality, although confusingly he told attendees at a Q&A session that it could be Hamas that smuggles Ebola through the US-Mexico border.

"Part of their [Hamas] creed would be to bring persons who have Ebola into our country. It would promote their creed. And all this could be avoided by sealing the border, thoroughly. Come on, this is the 21st century," he said, apparently unaware of what he was saying.

These fears extend to the Senate as well, where former Massachusetts senator Scott Brown - now running in New Hampshire - said it would be "naive to think that people aren’t going to be walking through here who have those types of diseases and/or other types of intent, criminal or terrorist".

The White House, the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security have all dismissed the prospect of Ebola being weaponised against the US.

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