How Are We Fighting Ebola?

Over 2,600 people have died from the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, and the death toll continues to rise. The alarming reality remains that there is still no known cure for the virus, so what exactly are we doing to contain it?

On Thursday, President Obama delivered an impassioned speech to the United Nations, urging diplomats to roll out a faster and broader response to the Ebola crisis. The United Nations secretary-general, Ban Ki-moon, echoed these sentiments in The New York Times, saying current efforts from member states "are falling significantly short of the twentyfold surge that is required." Given the dire situation, what is the U.S. currently doing to contain the Ebola epidemic?

Broadly speaking, the U.S. is hoping to lead the effort to build up resources and disseminate information. The U.S. has deployed an estimated 3,000 troops to West Africa, including members of The Army Corps of Engineers. There are also plans to build 17 Ebola treatment centers, which would house about 1,700 beds. Altogether, the White House is reporting that the U.S. has spent $100 million in relief efforts. There is also a massive effort to train health workers in affected areas, up to 500 per week.

In addition to these efforts, other groups are acting quickly to help. This week, the World Bank announced that it would double its funding to $400 million. The UN has an emergency mission convoy, based in Accra, Ghana, set to deploy this weekend. Still, experts are saying that due to the relatively slow response to the epidemic, we can expect things to get worse before they get better.

Learn More:
FACT SHEET: U.S. Response to the Ebola Epidemic in West Africa (via The White House)
"As the President has stated, the Ebola epidemic in West Africa and the humanitarian crisis there is a top national security priority for the United States. In order to contain and combat it, we are partnering with the United Nations and other international partners to help the Governments of Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, and Senegal respond just as we fortify our defenses at home. Every outbreak of Ebola over the past 40 years has been contained, and we are confident that this one can-and will be-as well."

UN: nearly $1 billion needed to combat Ebola outbreak (via The United Nations)
"The United Nations announced today that it would need nearly $1 billion for an exceptional, international response to Ebola outbreak in West Africa, with Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon declaring: "Every day we delay, the cost and the suffering will grow exponentially.""

Sierra Leone concludes nationwide Ebola lockdown (via The Washington Post)
"Frustrated residents complained of food shortages in some neighborhoods of Sierra Leone's capital on Sunday as the country reached the third and final day of a sweeping, unprecedented lockdown designed to combat the deadly Ebola disease, volunteers said."

Why Obama is committing 3,000 troops to fight Ebola (via Vox)
"As the worst-ever Ebola epidemic rages on in Africa, President Barack Obama announced Tuesday that the US will ramp up efforts to combat the the virus as part of "the largest international response in the history of the CDC.""

Ebola Worst-Case Scenario Has More Than 500,000 Cases (via Bloomberg News)
"The Ebola outbreak in West Africa could spread to hundreds of thousands more people by the end of January, according to an estimate under development by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that puts one worst-case scenario at 550,000 or more infections."

U.S. to Commit Up to 3,000 Troops to Fight Ebola in Africa (via The New York Times)
"Under pressure to do more to confront the Ebola outbreak sweeping across West Africa, President Obama on Tuesday is to announce an expansion of military and medical resources to combat the spread of the deadly virus, administration officials said."

CDC Safety Training Course for Healthcare Workers Going to West Africa in Response to the 2014 Ebola Outbreak (via Centers for Disease Control)
"As part of a comprehensive and coordinated response to the 2014 Ebola outbreak in West Africa, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is developing an introductory training course for licensed clinicians (e.g., nurses, physicians, and other healthcare providers) intending to work in an Ebola Treatment Unit (ETU) in Africa."

CDC Ramps Up Ebola Worker Training In Advance Of Obama Announcement (via Forbes)
"With the President apparently ready to announce today a massive, concerted U.S. military and medical response to the west African Ebola crisis, we had inklings this was coming."

Sierra Leone House to House Family Sensitization on Ebola Campaign (via Sierra Leone, The Office of the President)

Sierra Leone Ebola Fight Press Release (via Sierra Leone, The Office of the President)
"The Emergency Operations Center (EOC) wishes to inform the general public that after careful evaluation of the three days "Ose to Ose" Ebola talk, it has reached a conclusion that more than 75% of its intended target of reaching 1.5 million households across the country with the correct information on Ebola has been achieved."

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