Tags: Ebola Outbreak | Emerging Threats | Ebola | CDC | AIDS

CDC's Frieden: Ebola Biggest Challenge Since AIDS

CDC's Frieden: Ebola Biggest Challenge Since AIDS
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) director Dr. Tom Frieden. (Erik S. Lesser/EPA/Landov)

By    |   Thursday, 09 October 2014 01:43 PM

The Ebola outbreak is the worst disease crisis since the spread of AIDS, said the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"I would say that in the 30 years I've been working in public health, the only thing like this has been AIDS," said Dr. Thomas Frieden during remarks at the World Bank and International Monetary Fund annual meeting in Washington, D.C., according to NBC News.

Frieden also warned that time is of the essence in preventing it from becoming "the next AIDS."

Approximately 36 million people have died from AIDS since it broke out in the 1980s, and currently about 35 million people are infected by the virus, according to NBC News.

Ebola is similar in that it is spread through bodily fluids.

On Sunday, Frieden insisted that he is "confident" that the United States will prevent a widespread outbreak within the country's borders.

"We will stop it in its tracks because we've got infection control in hospitals and public health that tracks and isolates people if they get symptoms," Frieden told ABC's "This Week."

The Ebola outbreak, the largest in history, has made 8,033 people sick and killed 3,879 as of Wednesday, but the World Health Organization said it believes the figures are an underestimate, according NBC News.

Frieden's comments come one day after the first person to be diagnosed with Ebola in the U.S. died of the disease.

The government announced Wednesday that it was tightening screening procedures at five airports for passengers arriving from Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. Authorities will be questioning travelers about their medical history, taking their temperatures, and performing physical screenings for signs of illness.

"We work to continuously increase the safety of Americans," Frieden said.

"We believe these new measures will further protect the health of Americans, understanding that nothing we can do will get us to absolute zero risk until we end the Ebola epidemic in West Africa."

Meanwhile, a new poll released Thursday revealed that a majority of Americans believe all incoming flights from West African countries suffering from Ebola outbreaks should be banned.

According to the NBC News online survey, 58 percent of Americans want a ban on flights from countries that are being hardest hit by the deadly virus.

The poll also found that 51 percent of Americans are afraid there will be an Ebola outbreak in the United States, and 30 percent are worried that someone in their family would be exposed to the deadly disease.


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The Ebola outbreak is the worst disease crisis since the spread of AIDS, said the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
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2014-43-09
Thursday, 09 October 2014 01:43 PM
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