Friday, October 10, 2014

Ebola Could Be World's Next AIDS, CDC Director Warns

Ebola Could Be World's Next AIDS, CDC Director Warns

ABC News | October 9, 2014

Ebola is spreading with such speed that it could become a global pandemic to rival AIDS if action isn't taken now, one of the U.S.'s top health officials has warned.

"In the 30 years I’ve been working public health, the only thing like this has been AIDS, and we have to work now so that this is not the world’s next AIDS," Dr. Tom Frieden, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said Wednesday.

Frieden spoke at a conference at the World Bank in Washington D.C. Those in attendance included a group of African leaders from countries where the virus has spread.

"Speed is the most important variable here," Frieden said. "This is controllable and this was preventable. It's preventable by investing in core public health services, both in the epicenter of the most affected countries, in the surrounding countries, and in other countries that might be affected."

The World Health Organization released a report on Wednesday that noted six countries -- five in West Africa and the United States -- that had been affected. The report notes, however, that the information they used was only accurate through Oct. 5, and just this week there was a confirmed case of Ebola in Spain when a nurse tested positive for the disease. That brings the number of affected countries to seven.