Ebola epidemic 'spiraling out of control,' CDC director says

 

The Ebola epidemic is “spiraling out of control,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Dr. Tom Frieden said Tuesday.

“It is the world’s first Ebola epidemic, and it’s spiraling out of control. It’s bad now, and it’s going to get worse in the very near future. There is still a window of opportunity to tamp it down, but that window is closing. We really have to act now,” he said on “CBS This Morning.” 

Frieden recently returned from a trip to countries in West Africa affected by Ebola. He described it as a “horrific” situation but said treatment centers are increasing survival rates. 

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The CDC director suggested the United States needs to step up its efforts to work on vaccines and treatments for the deadly disease. 

“The epidemic is going faster than we are, so we need to scale up our response,” he said. “We can hope for new tools, and maybe they’ll come, but we can’t count on them.”

Frieden also warned “too many places are sealing off these countries” affected by Ebola, which he explained reduces safety everywhere else.

His comments come as an experimental Ebola vaccine will be tested on humans at the National Institutes of Health starting this week.

Another experimental drug, ZMapp, has already been used to successfully treat two U.S. missionary workers who contracted the disease while working in Liberia this summer.

More than 1,100 people in West Africa had died from Ebola as of mid-August, according to the World Health Organization.