Ebola could become next AIDS, warns US

Ebola could become next AIDS, warns US
Highlights

Ebola could become next AIDS, warns US, A top US health official urged swift action on Thursday to prevent the deadly Ebola virus from becoming the next AIDS epidemic.

Madrid: A top US health official urged swift action on Thursday to prevent the deadly Ebola virus from becoming the next AIDS epidemic.

The United Nations chief meanwhile called for a 20-fold increase in the world's response to the spread of Ebola, which has killed nearly 3,900 people in West Africa since the beginning of the year. Ebola's spill over into the United States and Europe has raised fears of a wider outbreak, and led the United States, Canada and Britain to start tougher airport screening of passengers arriving from West Africa.
A Moroccan health worker uses a thermometer to screen a passenger at the arrivals hall of the Mohammed V airport in Casablanca on Thursday (AP/PTI)
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention predicted the number of cases could mount to 1.4 million by January unless strong measures are taken to contain the disease, which is spread though close contact with the bodily fluids of an infected person. "We have to work now so that it is not the world's next AIDS," CDC Director Tom Frieden said.


"I would say that in the 30 years I've been working in public health, the only thing like this has been AIDS," he added, warning of a "long fight" ahead. In Spain, seven more people are being monitored in hospital for Ebola. They include two hairdressers who came into contact with Teresa Romero, a Madrid nurse who looked after an Ebola patient who had been repatriated from West Africa. Romero is now reported to be gravely ill but stable.

Meanwhile, a senior health official said that leading global health experts did not anticipate the scale of the Ebola outbreak. Chris Dye from the World Health Organization (WHO) said the international response was helping but needed to continue. Ebola is now entrenched in the capitals of the worst-affected states - Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, WHO said. The outbreak has killed more than 3,860 people, mainly in West Africa.

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