As President Barack Obama said last week, the people of West Africa should know that the United States of America is a full and determined partner in the fight to stop the terrible outbreak of Ebola virus disease. The United States and our partners around the world are working with African governments, hospitals, and especially courageous health workers and ordinary citizens to stop Ebola and save lives.
If you feel sick with a high fever, get help immediately. Prompt treatment in a medical center makes it possible for nearly half of patients to recover.
If you want to stop Ebola, understand the facts. Ebola does not travel through the air. Ebola does not spread through casual contact. The most common way you can catch Ebola is by touching the body fluids – such as sweat, saliva or blood – of someone who shows symptoms, or who has died from Ebola. Contact with body fluids - or items contaminated with body fluids - is how the disease spreads at burials, and when unprotected people care for patients at home.
If you feel sick with a high fever, get help immediately. Prompt treatment in a medical center makes it possible for nearly half of patients to recover. If you have to bury someone who died from Ebola, it’s important not to touch their body directly. You can uphold traditions and honor your loved ones, without endangering everyone around you.
The United States has provided tens of millions of dollars in protective gear for health care workers, food, chlorine bleach, laboratory support, and other assistance. The U.S. Agency for International Development will spend an additional $75 million to build clinics with many more beds, to recruit medical personnel to staff them, and to deliver equipment. The new money comes on top of the $21 million in assistance that the United States has committed since March. Other essential contributions of experts, training, and supplies continue to come from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, and the Departments of State, Defense, and Health and Human Services.
The people of West Africa should know that they are not alone. Together, we can make every effort to treat the human beings who are sick with respect and dignity. Together, we are saving lives, and we will save more. Together, our countries can do much to improve public health, to stop such an outbreak from happening again.