CDC: Ebola Virus Will Not Be Contained For 3 To 6 Months

Karlene Trudell

Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) director, Dr. Thomas Frieden says that in a best-case scenario, it will take at least three to six months to contain the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.

CNN reports that according to the World Health Organization (WHO), the current Ebola epidemic is the worst outbreak in history, killing over 700 people in the West African countries of Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea, and Nigeria since March of this year.

Two Americans missionaries who were caring for Ebola patients in Liberia, Nancy Writebol and Dr. Kent Brantly, are known to be suffering from the Ebola virus currently. A State Department employee confirmed that the U.S. government officials are in talks attempting to bring the two Samaritan's Purse missionaries home for treatment, but have not been successful yet. Writebol's son told CNN, "Mom continues in stable condition but it's very serious, and she's still fighting. She's weak, but she's working through it."

Samaritan's Purse said in a news release Thursday that Withebol had been given an "experimental serum," but she and her fellow missionary Brantly are still in "stable but grave condition."

Director of operations for Doctors Without Borders, Bart Janssens, said, "This epidemic is without precedent. It's absolutely not under control, and the situation keeps worsening."

According to The New York Times, the West African nations affected by the Ebola outbreak are quickening the pace of emergency efforts to stem the epidemic. Leaders are authorizing extreme methods to combat the Ebola outbreak, such as house-to-house searches for Ebola patients and deploying army and police units.

Sierra Leone President Ernest Bai Koroma has canceled a planned visit to the United States and deployed security forces to contain the outbreak by quarantining the infected, while Liberia has closed schools and put nonessential government workers on leave for 30 days to minimize the spread of the Ebola virus. Public gatherings have been restricted and "active surveillance" will be undertaken of those suspected to be infected with the Ebola virus.

The World Health Organization confirmed 57 more deaths and 122 new cases over the four-day period from July 24 -27, and now estimates the total of Ebola infected patients to 1323. The vicious outbreak has prompted the Center for Disease Control and Prevention to issue "nonessential" travel warnings to and from the countries affected by the Ebola virus epidemic. The Level 3 travel warning is the CDC's most serious. Such a serious travel advisory is rare, and is reserved for only the most dangerous situations.

The outbreak is currently confined to West Africa, but officials fear it could easily spread. Ebola symptoms do not manifest for 2 to 21 days, and a person may unwittingly travel without knowing he or she is infected. Making it worse, many of the symptoms of Ebola infection mimic more common diseases such as Malaria or the flu, so a patient may not know they are infected until it is too late. The Inquisitr reported recently, in fact, that more people may be infected than suspected.

Janssens expressed he concerns of many officials battling the epidemic when he said, "If the situation does not improve fairly quickly, there is a real risk for new countries to be affected."

Image courtesy of Mirror UK