The Ebola virus outbreak that has killed thousands in West Africa will more than likely continue to get worse, unless an “unprecedented” response can rein it in, according to Tom Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
Frieden said, “The cases are increasing. I wish I did not have to say this, but it is going to get worse before it gets better. The world has never seen an outbreak of Ebola like this. Consequently, not only are the numbers large, but we know there are many more cases than has been diagnosed and reported.”
Frieden also stated that the impact is “far larger than has been recorded, not because they are trying to hide anything but because they are really overwhelmed by these numbers.” He emphasized that the CDC is “working flat out on this, but this is huge and needs a global response. … They need a lot of help from the world.”
Numbers released this week by the World Health Organization (WHO) showed that Ebola has now killed 1,427 people and infected 2,615. Liberia has accounted for almost half of the casualties, with 624 deaths and 1,082 infections.
Brice de la Vigne, the operations director of Doctors Without Borders/Medecins Sans Frontieres said that the international community has been “entirely inadequate” in containing the virus. “It is simply unacceptable that serious discussions are only starting now about international leadership and coordination.” He added, “Self-protection is occupying the entire focus of states that have the expertise and resources to make a dramatic difference.”
African health leaders from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) are set to meet in Accra, Ghana, Thursday to discuss measures to tackle the spread of the virus.