CDC calls for more urgent response to Ebola outbreak

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ATLANTA - Health officials announced that yet another American doctor tested positive for Ebola on the same day the CDC called for an urgent response to the epidemic.

“The virus is moving faster than anyone anticipated, and that’s why we need to move fast,” said CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden.

Channel 2’s Erica Byfield spoke to Dr. Frieden a day after he returned from West Africa where the virus has killed more than 1,500 people.

Frieden said the area urgently needs more health care workers, beds to treat the ill and money to battle the outbreak.

Officials have not released the name of the latest American doctor with Ebola. He works for SIM from North Carolina and he was in Liberia caring for pregnant women, not Ebola patients. 

Nancy Writebol, another aid worker who contracted Ebola also works for SIM.  She became ill earlier in the summer and spent about three weeks at Emory Hospital in DeKalb County before doctors said she was cured.

It is unclear if the doctor with Ebola will remain in West Africa.

A SIM spokesperson said the organization’s director will answer questions at a Wednesday news conference in North Carolina.

Dr. Frieden did not talk about the latest sick American, but did say CDC staffers in West Africa are doing everything they can.

"They are doing everything from tracking the outbreak to helping improving infection control to ensuring people leaving the country are screened for fever," he said.  

The CDC currently has 70 workers in affected countries.

Frieden said it is time to reevaluate how long they are deployed.

"We will be looking to send people for longer tours of duty maybe coming back for couple of weeks of rest so people don’t get burnt out,” said Frieden.

Three Americans have tested positive for Ebola: the unnamed doctor, Writebol and Dr. Kent Brantly. Doctors said Brantly, like Writebol, is now virus-free.


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