CDC increases efforts to curb Ebola outbreak in West Africa
The outbreak, which began in March in Guinea, spread to the neighboring countries of Sierra Leone and Liberia. The deadly disease recently spread to Nigeria through a Liberian traveler.
The CDC issued an alert level two travel notice for travel to Nigeria on Tuesday, which notified travelers to the area to practice carefully hygiene and avoid contact with body and blood fluids of people with Ebola. The warning level three travel notice remained in effect for Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea, which advises individuals to avoid nonessential travel to the three countries.
The CDC said its mission is to protect, detect and stop disease outbreaks wherever they occur and to protect America's health through the improvement of public health at home and abroad.
"The bottom line with Ebola is we know how to stop it: traditional public health," Tom Frieden, the director of the CDC, said. "Find patients, isolate and care for them; find their contacts; educate people; and strictly follow infection control in hospitals. Do those things with meticulous care and Ebola goes away. To keep America safe, health care workers should isolate and evaluate people who have returned from Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone in the past 21 days and have fever or other symptoms suggestive of Ebola."
As of Monday, the CDC had deployed six staff members go Guinea, 12 to Liberia, four to Nigeria and nine to Sierra Leone. The CDC said the agency-wide response will continue until the outbreak is under control, which will take an estimated three to six months.
"We will save lives in West Africa and protect ourselves at home by stopping Ebola at the source," Frieden said.