Hansa Bhargava, MD: Hi, I’m Dr. Hansa Bhargava from WebMD and I’m joined today by Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the CDC.Thank you for being here, Dr. Frieden.The current Ebola outbreak has been one of the worst in history.In today’s world where travel is very frequent, what would you tell us to stay safe?
Tom Frieden, MD: Ebola is scary. It’s deadly. It’s unfamiliar. The fact is the single most important thing we can doto protect people in this country and all around the world from Ebola, is to stop it at the source in Africa.That’s why we surged. In just two weeks, we put 50 staff on the ground, in the four affected countries.We’re helping them to do a better job, finding, isolating and stopping the outbreak, because that can be done.We’ve stopped all previous outbreaks; we’ll stop this one too.Of course, if you’ve traveled to one of the places where Ebola is spreading and you develop a fever,then of course you need to be seen promptly, you need to tell your health care workers, a healthcare provider, thatyou have been in that area, you may have been exposed, so you can be safely treated and rapidly tested.
Hansa Bhargava, MD: Is there anything you would tell people who have been to Africa, who may have symptoms that would distinguish them?Symptoms from Ebola vs. another virus?
Tom Frieden, MD: The key is the travel history. To be very clear about where you’ve been and when.If you were in Sierra Leone, Guinea and/or Liberia within the past 21 days,then if you have a fever or nausea or vomiting, you should be assessed and assessed carefully.So call your doctor or other clinician in advance.Tell them you’re coming in so that you can be safely treated and rapidly tested.And we can find out whether or not you have it or not. If you haven’t been to one of those 3 countries,or to Lagos in the last 21 days, then the symptoms you have are not Ebola.