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article imageU.S. CDC issues new Ebola threat alert

By Tim Sandle     Dec 29, 2014 in Health
London - One year on from the first Ebola case in Guinea, the U.S. CDC raises a new warning about the potential spread of the virus and notes that more needs to be done to slow down the spread disease.
The warning comes from the director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Tom Frieden, after returning from a visit to the affected regions in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.
According to the CDC, Dr. Frieden spent time discussing the issues with patients and staff. On the Agency’s website, he states:
“It is inspiring to see how much better the response has become in the past two months, how much international commitment there is, and, most importantly, how hard people from each of the three countries are working to stop Ebola. But it is sobering that Ebola continues to spread rapidly in Sierra Leone and that in parts of Monrovia and Conakry Ebola is spreading unabated. Improvements in contact tracing are urgently needed.”
The primary issue identified that poses the greatest threat to slowing down the spread of the virus remains resources, both human and capital. Although the disease has been slowed down considerably in Liberia there is little evidence of a slowdown in Sierra Leone or in parts of Guinea. The conservative website Business Monitor suggests that efforts to contain the outbreak have been hampered by weak state capacity, lack of public funding and poor health infrastructure. Similarly, from a left-of-centre perspective, a review on the website Pharma Micro indicates that decades of under-investment in the health systems of West African states is hampering effort to slow down the disease spread.
To help the situation, the U.S. government has recently allocated an additional $1.2 billion to help the international response. Furthermore, to guard against the risk of further Ebola infections in the U.S., the government has earmarked $571 million for homeland defense.
In related news, the U.K. government has issued information about precautions to be taken by people carrying out cleaning procedures associated with suspected and confirmed cases of Ebola together with actions to take after the suspected case of Ebola has been assessed.
More about Ebola, CDC, West africa, Virus
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