Ebola ‘the next AIDS’

WASHINGTON – The Ebola outbreak in West Africa is unlike anything since the emergence of HIV/AIDS, top United States medical official Thomas Frieden has said.

A fast global response could ensure that it did not become “the next AIDS,” the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said.

The presidents of Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea appealed for more aid to help fight the disease.

The outbreak has killed more than 3,860 people, mainly in West Africa.

More than 200 health workers are among the victims.

US public health director Thomas Frieden - 'This is controllable and this was preventable.'
US public health director Thomas Frieden – ‘This is controllable and this was preventable.’

At the meeting in Washington, Dr Frieden described Ebola as one of the biggest crises he had seen in his career.

“I would say that in the 30 years I’ve been working in public health, the only thing like this has been AIDS,” he said.

The presidents of Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea – the three countries worst affected by Ebola – appealed for more aid.

“Our people are dying,” Sierra Leone’s leader Ernest Bai Koroma said, adding that the world was not responding fast enough as children were being orphaned.

Today a Liberian doctor died of the disease at a treatment centre in Monrovia, health officials said.

Ugandan-born John Taban Dada had been working at the country’s largest hospital, the John F Kennedy Memorial Center, his former colleagues said.

His death brings to four the number of doctors who have died in Liberia since the outbreak.

Meanwhile, Romero is now being helped with her breathing in hospital in Spain, according to her brother. Two doctors who treated her have also been admitted for observation.

The EU has announced plans for a system to evacuate international staff from Ebola-infected countries if they show signs of the disease.

The evacuation system will allow patients to be flown within 48 hours to European hospitals “that are equipped to deal with the disease,” a statement from the European commission said.

The move is expected to make it easier to deploy European medical workers to combat the crisis in West Africa.

Nigeria’s government says 200 healthcare workers have volunteered to be sent to Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea as part of a global response team on Ebola.

Nigeria, which has had seven confirmed deaths from the virus, seems to have successfully contained the spread of the haemorrhagic fever, the BBC’s Chris Ewokor in Abuja says.

Source: (BBC)

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