News / Health

US ‘Surging’ 50 Disease Control Specialists to West Africa

  • According to local reports, the sale of water buckets has increased dramatically because they are used by Liberians to wash their hands with disinfectant to prevent the spread of the deadly Ebola virus, Monrovia, Liberia, Aug. 4, 2014.
  • The representative from Guinea is absent for the opening session of the US-Africa Leaders Summit. The leaders of Guinea and Sierra Leone skipped the summit to deal with the ebola crisis at home, in Washington, DC, Aug. 4, 2014. 
  • The Mideast's largest airline, Emirates, says that it is stopping flights to Guinea until further notice because of concerns about the spread of the Ebola virus, Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Aug. 3, 2014.
     
  • A man sells clothes as he walks past people reading comments on a blackboard that informs the public of current events in Liberia, including information on the Ebola virus, in Monrovia, Liberia, Saturday Aug. 2, 2014. 
  • Women from different religious groups wash their hands after praying to prevent the spread of the Ebola virus, in Monrovia, Liberia, Aug. 2, 2014. 
  • Members of the media wait in front of Emory University Hospital after an ambulance carrying the American doctor Kent Brantly, who has contracted the Ebola virus, arrived in Atlanta, Georgia, Aug. 2, 2014. 
Ebola Developments
Victor Beattie

The United States is sending at least 50 disease-control specialists to West Africa to help find, respond to and stop the spread of the deadly Ebola virus, which has claimed more than 700 lives. An American health care worker, who contracted the disease in Liberia, is expected to return to the United States Tuesday, following the return of an infected American doctor August 2.

The director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Tom Frieden, told US broadcast interviewers Sunday that while the Ebola outbreak in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia is currently out of control, it can be contained.

"What we’re doing now at CDC is surging our response. We are going to put at least 50 public health experts in the three countries in the next 30 days because, actually, we do know how to stop Ebola. It’s old-fashioned, plain-and-simple public health; find the patients, make sure they get treated, find their contacts, track them, educate people, do infection-control in hospitals. You do those things, and you have to do them really well, and Ebola goes away," said Frieden.

Frieden said the impact of an Ebola outbreak on a society can be devastating.

"It can destroy not just the confidence in health care, but have huge social and economic impacts on society. In parts of Africa, where we’ve dealt with Ebola for years, we’re much better able to control it. We find the cases quickly, we stop them quickly, and we prevent the practices that may allow it to spread. That’s what eventually we will be able to do here. The sooner we do it, the fewer people will die from it," Frieden said.

He said that a vaccine against Ebola is a long way away, and, for now, the best way to contain it is to stop it at its source, namely West Africa. He cautions it will neither be quick nor easy, and he expects the situation to worsen before it gets better.

The World Health Organization says more than 700 people have died from the disease since it was first detected in Guinea in March.

Frieden said Kent Brantly, who became infected while treating patients in Liberia and returned to the United States Saturday aboard a specially-equipped private jet, is improving at Atlanta’s Emory University Hospital.

A second infected American, missionary Nancy Writebol, who also contracted the virus in Liberia, is expected to be transported to Emory Tuesday.

On Friday, President Obama said US officials are taking the situation very seriously.

"As soon as there is an outbreak in the world of any disease that could have significant effects, the CDC is in communication with the World Health Organization and other multi-lateral agencies to try to make sure that we’ve got an appropriate response. This has been a more aggressive outbreak of Ebola than we’ve seen in the past, but keep in mind that it is still affecting parts of three countries," said Obama.

Obama said U.S. officials are taking “appropriate precautions” in screening African delegations in Washington for a three-day US/Africa summit. Some 50 African heads of state are attending the summit. Two invited African leaders, from Sierra Leone and Liberia, canceled their participation due to the Ebola crisis.

Friday, the WHO announced a $100-million emergency plan in conjunction with the three affected countries that includes a strengthening of control and response measures. A WHO spokesman said some 600 specialists will be needed to carry it out.

An estimated 2400 volunteers from the International Red Cross Federation have been working in all three countries since the outbreak began.

Meanwhile, Dubai-based Emirates became the first major international airline to suspend all flights to Guinea to prevent the spread of Ebola. It will continue flights to Dakar, Senegal, which borders Guinea. Several carriers and airports are screening passengers from the region for the illness. 

You May Like

Australia Knights Prince Philip, Sparking National Outrage

Abbott's surprise reintroduction of knights and dames in the country's honors system last year drew criticism that he was out of touch with national sentiment More

SAG Award Boosts 'Birdman' Oscar Hopes

Individual acting Oscars appear to be sewn up: SAG awards went to artists who won Golden Globes: Julianne Moore, Eddie Redmayne, Patricia Arquette, J.K. Simmons More

Katy Perry Lights Way for Super Bowl's Girl Power Moment

Pop star's selection to headline US football championship's halftime show extends NFL's trend of selecting artists who appeal to younger viewers More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: eusebio manuel vestias from: Portugal
August 05, 2014 12:13 PM
west Africa save America


by: meanbill from: USA
August 04, 2014 10:13 AM
DON'T WORRY about (EBOLA) spreading worldwide, the world heath organization said just (2) weeks ago, (like AIDS), it keeps on spreading, and spreading, and is becoming a worldwide epidemic.... DON'T WORRY?..... how many people have (AIDS) worldwide?

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Zoo Animals Show Their Artistic Sidesi
X
June Soh
January 23, 2015 10:03 PM
The pursuit of happiness is so important, America's founding fathers put it in the Declaration of Independence. Any zookeeper will tell you animals need enrichment, just like humans do. So painting, and even music, are part of the Smithsonian National Zoo's program to keep the animals happy. VOA’s June Soh met some animal artists at the zoo in Washington. Faith Lapidus narrates.
Video

Video Zoo Animals Show Their Artistic Sides

The pursuit of happiness is so important, America's founding fathers put it in the Declaration of Independence. Any zookeeper will tell you animals need enrichment, just like humans do. So painting, and even music, are part of the Smithsonian National Zoo's program to keep the animals happy. VOA’s June Soh met some animal artists at the zoo in Washington. Faith Lapidus narrates.
Video

Video Progress, Some Areas of Disagreement in Cuba Talks

U.S. and Cuban officials are reporting progress from initial talks in Havana on re-establishing diplomatic ties. U.S. Assistant Secretary of State (for Western Hemisphere Affairs) Roberta Jacobson said while there was agreement on a broad range of issues, there also are some “profound disagreements” between Washington and Havana. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins has the story.
Video

Video Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youth

Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

The Euro currency has fallen sharply after the European Central Bank announced a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program Thursday - commonly seen as a form of printing new money. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London on whether the move might rescue the eurozone economy -- and what lessons have been learned from similar programs around the world.
Video

Video Nigerian Elections Pose Concern of Potential Conflict in 'Middle Belt'

Nigeria’s north-central state of Kaduna has long been the site of fighting between Muslims and Christians as well as between people of different ethnic groups. As the February elections approach, community and religious leaders are making plans they hope will keep the streets calm after results are announced. Chris Stein reports from the state capital, Kaduna.
Video

Video As Viewership Drops, Obama Puts His Message on YouTube

Ratings reports show President Obama’s State of the Union address this week drew the lowest number of viewers for this annual speech in 15 years. White House officials anticipated this, and the president has decided to take a non-traditional approach to getting his message out. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video S. Korean Businesses Want to End Trade Restrictions With North

Business leaders in South Korea are calling for President Park Geun-hye to ease trade restrictions with North Korea that were put in place in 2010 after the sinking of a South Korean warship.Pro-business groups argue that expanding trade and investment is not only good for business, it is also good for long-term regional peace and security. VOA’s Brian Padden reports.
Video

Video US Marching Bands Grow Into a Show of Their Own

The 2014 Super Bowl halftime show was the most-watched in history - attracting an estimated 115 million viewers. That event featured pop star Bruno Mars. But the halftime show tradition started with marching bands, which still dominate the entertainment at U.S. high school and college American football games. But as Enming Liu reports in this story narrated by Adrianna Zhang, marching bands have grown into a show of their own.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid