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NIAID Director Calls Ebola Threat in U.S. "Extremely Small" — Physician’s First Watch

Medical News |
August 14, 2014

NIAID Director Calls Ebola Threat in U.S. "Extremely Small"

By Amy Orciari Herman

Edited by Susan Sadoughi, MD

Although the threat of Ebola virus in West Africa "looms large," the likelihood that it "will establish a foothold in the United States or another high-resource country remains extremely small," writes Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, in a New England Journal of Medicine perspective.

He notes that not only do such countries have an "excellent capacity" to contain the virus, but the virus is not transmitted by air or casual contact. Therefore, "a high index of suspicion, proper infection-control practices, and epidemiologic investigations should quickly limit the spread of the virus."

Fauci acknowledges the challenges in recognizing Ebola virus infection, and emphasizes the necessity of taking a "careful and prompt" travel history in patients with suspected infection. He takes a cautious approach toward investigational therapies and vaccines, and concludes: "It is unlikely that any miracle cure will end the current epidemic. Rather, sound public health practices, engagement with affected communities, and considerable international assistance and global solidarity will be needed to defeat Ebola in West Africa."

Reader Comments (1)

José H.P.Pinto MD Physician, Allergy/Immunology, BrazilI

I agree with the comments of Dr . Fauci .

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