Dr. Tom Frieden, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, spoke to Jorge Ramos amid growing concern over the Ebola crisis and how to contain it.
“Ebola is not going to spread widely in the U.S.,” Frieden told Ramos.
Even though the vast majority of cases and deaths have been in West Africa, Americans are on edge after two Texas health care workers tested positive for Ebola. Both were part of a large team at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas that helped treat Thomas Eric Duncan, a Liberian citizen who was the first case diagnosed on U.S. soil.
On Tuesday, Dr. Frieden admitted the CDC could have done more to protect the first U.S. health care worker diagnosed with Ebola, 26-year-old nurse Nina Pham. The second health care worker diagnosed with Ebola has been identified as Amber Vinson.
The CDC confirms that Pham became infected with the virus at the hospital while treating Duncan, making this the first case of person-to-person transmission in the U.S. On Tuesday, Pham released a statement saying that she’s “doing well” and is hopeful she’ll make a full recovery.
Officials are scrambling to control the fallout from these cases, as many are questioning whether the U.S. is taking sufficient precautions. Some are even calling for Dr. Frieden to resign as director of the CDC after the agency’s response to the outbreak.
There have also been calls for the U.S. to ban all travel to and from West Africa to prevent Ebola from spreading. Dr. Frieden claims this will only make the problem worse.
“If we were to ban travel we would isolate these countries,” Frieden told Ramos. “If that happens it gets harder to fight the outbreak there… and it creates more risk to us here.”