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CDC Statement from the Director: Ebola

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Media Statement

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, September 23, 2014
Contact: Media Relations, Office of Communication
(404) 639-3286

Ebola is a critical issue for the world community. This week’s meetings in NY and Washington are a critical opportunity for increased international commitments and, more importantly, action.

The Ebola case estimates published today in the MMWR are based on data from August and reflect a moment in time before recent significant increases in efforts to improve treatment and isolation. They do not account for actions taken or planned since August by the United States and the international community. We anticipate that these actions will slow the spread of the epidemic.

The Ebola Response model is an important tool for people working to stop Ebola. It provides the ability to help Ebola response planners make more informed decisions on the emergency response to help bring the outbreak under control – and what can happen if these resources are not brought to bear quickly.

The model shows that there are severe costs of delay, and the need for increased resources and immediate and ongoing action by the international community.

It is still possible to reverse the epidemic, and we believe this can be done if a sufficient number of all patients are effectively isolated, either in Ebola Treatment Units or in other settings, such as community-based or home care.

Once a sufficient number of Ebola patients are isolated, cases will decline very rapidly – almost as rapidly as they rose.

Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H.
Director, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES

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