Ebola: U.S. Response to the Ebola Epidemic in West Africa

The Ebola outbreak in West Africa continues to grow exponentially. Numbers of cases are now doubling every three weeks on average, and will soon reach 5,000, with more than 2,200 deaths. Many additional cases of Ebola virus infection are likely unreported.

  • Even with a greatly expanded response, WHO estimates that it could take 6-9 months to contain the outbreak.
  • Several events in the immediate future will allow the international community to assess the severity of the outbreak and offer an opportunity to demonstrate a united front and coordinate actions, including an emergency UN Security Council meeting on September 18 and a UN Secretary General-hosted summit at UNGA on September 25.
  • As President Obama has stated, the Ebola epidemic in West Africa and the humanitarian situation there is a top national security priority for the United States. We have dedicated additional resources across the federal government to address the crisis, committing more than $175 million to date. We are working to provide more resources and leverage more capabilities in close coordination with all of our partners. This includes building additional Ebola Treatment Units in affected areas and recruiting and organizing medical personnel to staff them.

Our collective response through CDC and USAID has been primarily focused on the most affected areas. We are glad to see that the Angolan government is taking this outbreak very seriously. In our conversations with the Ministry of Health, it appears that Angola is taking all of the necessary precautions to prevent the outbreak from spreading across its borders. The USG is in contact with the Angolan government on how we can be helpful.

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