Obama: Ebola Virus Controllable



(AP) - President Barack Obama says the Ebola virus is controllable with standard public health measures and the U.S. is working with allies to send additional medical workers to West Africa.

The use of an experimental drug to treat American aid workers raises ethical questions about who should get any additional, limited supplies of a drug that's never been tested in people. Obama says all the information isn't in about whether the drug is helping.

In his words, "We've got to let the science guide us."

Obama says this outbreak has spread more rapidly than previous ones in part because affected countries' public health systems have been overwhelmed, but bolstering efforts to rapidly identify and isolate patients can work.

Obama spoke Wednesday at a news conference concluding a summit with African leaders.

Liberia's president has declared a state of emergency in the West African nation amid an Ebola outbreak that shows no signs of slowing.

President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf made the announcement on national television late Wednesday, saying that some civil rights may have to be suspended as a result of the crisis.

Observers say the crisis in Liberia has deepened because many people are choosing to keep their ill relatives at home instead of bringing them to isolation centers.

The disease that has killed at least 282 people in Liberia alone is spread through contact with the bodily fluids of Ebola patients showing symptoms.

In her speech, Sirleaf said that "ignorance and poverty, as well as entrenched religious and cultural practices, continue to exacerbate the spread of the disease."


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Topics : PoliticsSocial Issues
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Locations : West Africa
People : Barack ObamaEllen Johnson Sirleaf
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