Ebola crisis hampers group's poverty-fighting efforts

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ATLANTA - The Ebola crisis is hampering the work an Atlanta-based poverty agency can do in West Africa.

“As this evolves, we are paying attention and are in contact with health authorities making sure that we are doing all that we can to keep our staff safe,” said Helene Gayle, CARE president  and CEO.

The poverty-fighting organization operates in more than 80 countries around the world.

SPECIAL SECTION: Ebola crisis

Gayle says 100 people who work for the group are in Sierra Leone and Liberia, the epicenter of the Ebola outbreak.

As of Monday afternoon, the virus had killed 961 people in West Africa and sickened more than 1,700, officials said.

As the epidemic spreads, Gayle says she has advised her staff to make some adjustments to the way they work.

“First and foremost, we are trying to get as much information to people as possible, so people know what the symptoms are and know whether or not they could be at risk themselves,” she said.

From her Atlanta office, Gayle says she's urging her staff not to be overly alarmed, but to realize the significance of the situation.

“I think this is very serious and people have to take it seriously,” she said.

Some CARE employees are now working from home. So far, none of CARE’s employees has contracted the virus, but several have relatives who are sick.