Ebola outbreak in West Africa can be stopped with 3 steps, says CDC

What can be done to stop the deadly outbreak of Ebola in West Africa? The head of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers three suggestions.
By JC Finley  |  Sept. 2, 2014 at 7:14 PM
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ATLANTA, Sept. 2 (UPI) -- Since the Ebola outbreak began in December 2013, more than 3,000 people have become infected in West Africa, prompting many to ask: What can be done to stop this deadly disease?

According to Dr. Tom Frieden, the director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are "Three keys to stop Ebola: more resources, technical experts and global, coordinated approach."

In the hardest hit countries, like Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, more resources are essential.

Frieden described a recent visit to an Ebola clinic where "I went to a new ward that opened with 35 beds -- and in less than a week they had 63 patients, many lying on the floor."

Such resource shortages, he said, points to "a need for data to better trace where Ebola is beginning to spread. And there is a basic need for infrastructure like trucks, jeeps and motorcycles. Perhaps most importantly, there is need for a functional emergency operations center at either the national or the district levels directing an efficient response."

The CDC head appealed for global involvement, cautioning that "The window of opportunity to stop Ebola from spreading widely throughout Africa and becoming a global threat for years to come is closing, but it is not yet closed."

"If the world takes the immediate steps -- which are direct requests from the front lines of the outbreak and the Presidents of each country -- we can still turn this around."

The Ebola virus is spread by close contact with the bodily fluids of an infected person or corpse, and typically kills up to 90 percent of its victims although in this outbreak, the World Health Organization estimates a higher survival rate of 47 percent.

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