The American Society for Microbiology (ASM) applauded the Obama administration’s announcement on Tuesday that it is expanding Department of Defense capabilities, medical expertise and resources to respond more rapidly to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.
“The effort to reduce transmission is a race against time and will require unprecedented financial and human expertise, both from the United States and from international organizations," Timothy J. Donahue, the president of ASM, and Ronald M. Atlas, the chair of the Public and Scientific Affairs Board, said.
Donahue and Atlas also stressed the importance of support for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institutes of Health, the World Health Organization, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which plays an important role in the development of the drugs needed to fight Ebola.
“Vaccines and therapeutics are what will remove Ebola as a global threat,” Donahue and Atlas said. “Ebola will not be the last virus to evolve into a major health and security threat. The only way to stay ahead of the rapid evolution of microorganisms and the inevitable emergence of the new diseases is to support infectious disease research and public health agencies that can respond rapidly when outbreak occurs.”