TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 27, 2016

More than 50 CDC staff fighting ebola in West Africa

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Wednesday that it now has more than 50 experts in West Africa to battle the ongoing ebola virus outbreak there.

The CDC's Emergency Operations Center is also now at its highest level of alert. More than 350 staff are working around the clock on logistics, communications, analytics and other support functions.

"We are fulfilling our promise to the people of West Africa, Americans and the world that CDC would quickly ramp up its efforts to help bring the worst Ebola outbreak in history under control," CDC Director Tom Frieden said. "We know how to stop Ebola. It won't be easy or fast, but working together with our U.S. and international partners and country leadership, together we are doing it."

The CDC staff are spread across Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria. They are conducting contact tracing and coordinating local response efforts, as well as setting up laboratories to conduct ebola testing.

Other CDC staff are working to educate the local populations on how to avoid ebola and seek treatment if they become ill.

"Our primary goal is to bring to an end the suffering of so many as well as develop the public health infrastructure there to help prevent future outbreaks," Inger Damon, an incident manager with the CDC's ebola response, said.