Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier
WebMD

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine
WebMD

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion
    WebMD

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community
    WebMD

    Community

    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Font Size
A
A
A

CDC Raises Ebola Outbreak Response

World Health Organization also mulling similar move as cases are reported in Nigeria

WebMD News from HealthDay

By EJ Mundell

HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, Aug. 7, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Wednesday raised the level of its response to the West African Ebola outbreak to its highest alert status.

The move, to a "level 1 activation," allows the agency to expand its role in fighting the growing public health crisis, which gained new urgency as cases of the deadly infection began to be reported in populous Nigeria.

According to NBC News, a level 1 response has typically been reserved for only the most dire and pressing emergencies, such as the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005 or the bird flu outbreak in 2009. The CDC has already committed 50 more staff people to fly to the area of the outbreak over the next month, and more could follow.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Ebola has already caused the deaths of 932 people in Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone.

Also on Wednesday, WHO said that it may soon declare an international public health emergency in response to the growing Ebola outbreak.

Such a rarely used declaration would give health officials greater powers, including the use of quarantines, in affected areas, according to the New York Times. The decision on whether to declare an international public health emergency is expected Friday, the Times reported.

Meanwhile, medical ethicists will meet next week to discuss who should have access to the limited supplies of an experimental medicine for the deadly Ebola virus, WHO said.

The drug was given to and benefited Dr. Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebol, two American aid workers who contracted the disease in West Africa. It was the first time the drug was tried on people, NBC News reported.

The maker of the drug has said it can't produce large amounts of the experimental medicine, which means only a limited number of patients will be able to receive it. There is no certified vaccine or cure for Ebola.

"We are in an unusual situation in this outbreak," WHO official Dr. Marie-Paule Kieny said in a statement, NBC reported. "We need to ask the medical ethicists to give us guidance on what the responsible thing to do is."

And late Wednesday, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in a statement that a patient at a New York City hospital who had recently traveled to West Africa and reported symptoms similar to those of the Ebola has tested negative for the disease.

According to the Times, the patient had been kept in isolation at Mount Sinai Hospital after arriving there with chills and a fever on Monday morning.

WebMD Video: Now Playing

Click here to wach video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing

Which sex is the worst about washing up? Why is it so important? We’ve got the dirty truth on how and when to wash your hands.

Click here to watch video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing