The chief of the Centers for Disease Control said Tuesday the Ebola outbreak in western Africa is “spiraling out of control” and must be contained now.
“It’s bad now, much worse than the numbers show,” Director Tom Frieden told CNN’s New Day. “It’s going to get even worse in the very near future and our window of opportunity to turn it around is closing, but it’s not yet closed … Action today is worth much more than action in a couple of weeks or a month or two.”
“Right now, the epidemic is completely out of control,” he added.
He said the best way to prevent Ebola from reaching the U.S. is to contain it where it is.
He encouraged Americans to donate or volunteer in the fight against the virus, which is spread through contact with the bodily fluids of an infected person.
He also expressed optimism that an Ebola vaccine will be developed, although “we can’t count on it.”
Also, he said efforts to isolate affected countries such as Liberia and Sierra Leone have been counterproductive, holding up assistance from outside their borders and keeping aid workers from traveling within the region.
“We can’t reject these countries; they’re part of the world,” he told CNN. “And the longer the outbreak and epidemic goes on there, the more that all of us are potentially at risk.”