News / USA

US Health Officials Announce Surge of Support to Combat Ebola

FILE - A scientist separates blood cells from plasma cells to isolate any Ebola RNA in order to test for the virus at the European Mobile Laboratory in Gueckedou, Guinea.
FILE - A scientist separates blood cells from plasma cells to isolate any Ebola RNA in order to test for the virus at the European Mobile Laboratory in Gueckedou, Guinea.
Faith Lapidus
CDC map of east Africa, areas with confirmed and probable cases of EbolaCDC map of east Africa, areas with confirmed and probable cases of Ebola
x
CDC map of east Africa, areas with confirmed and probable cases of Ebola
CDC map of east Africa, areas with confirmed and probable cases of Ebola

The United States is sending more health experts to the three West African countries struggling with an Ebola outbreak. The experts will help the governments of Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea manage the crisis.

Thomas Frieden, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, addressed what he called the biggest and most complex Ebola outbreak in history, centered along the common border of Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.

"Over the next 30 days, we plan to send an additional 50 CDC disease control specialists into the three countries," he said. "These individuals will help countries establish emergency operations centers that can develop a structured and effective way of addressing the outbreak."

"This is being done in close collaboration with WHO," he added. 'They will also help strengthen laboratory networks so testing for the disease can be done rapidly ... and third, building the capacity of individuals from within the area to do these functions for this outbreak and future threats as well."

He identified two major challenges those governments face in trying to control the situation.

"Many of the health systems in these countries are not highly functional," he said. "They may not reach into rural areas, health care workers may not reliably be present at facilities, and facilities may have very limited capacities. Second, in some areas, there has been lack of understanding and hostility or violence against some of the groups that are trying to respond to the outbreaks."

Among the CDC experts headed to the region will be airport screeners to help countries identify travelers who may be sick. Frieden also announced a more urgent travel alert, advising Americans to avoid any non-essential trips to the area.

He reviewed three key steps to stop the outbreak: rapidly identifying and isolating patients, finding and following anyone they had contact with over the previous three weeks to see if they develop symptoms; providing supportive care in treatment centers; and preventing future cases through education, strict adherence to quarantine protocols, and avoiding the consumption of bush meat and bats.  

Comparing the effort to fighting forest fires, Frieden said "if you leave behind even one burning ember, one case undetected, it could reignite the epidemic."

"So difficult as it is, it can be done," he added. "And I am confident that as we make progress over the coming weeks and months, we will not only begin to tamp down these outbreaks, but leave behind a stronger system that will be able to find, and stop before they spread and prevent more effectively Ebola and other health threats."

Frieden concluded, this is a marathon, not a sprint, warning it will take three to six months to get the situation under control.

You May Like

Video One Year After Thai Coup, No End in Sight for Military Rule

Since carrying out the May 22, 2014 coup, the general has retired from the military but is still firmly in charge More

Goodbye, New York

This is what the fastest-growing big cities in America have in common More

Job-Seeking Bangladeshis Risk Lives to Find Work

The number of Bangladeshi migrants on smugglers’ boats bound for Southeast Asian countries has soared in the past two years More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs