CDC Hikes Ebola Alert to Highest Level
CDC Director Thomas Frieden makes announcement on Capitol Hill
By Neal Colgrass, Newser Staff
Posted Aug 7, 2014 5:30 PM CDT
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Thomas Frieden testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, July 16, 2014, before the House Oversight and Investigations subcommittee. Frieden...   (AP Photo/Lauren Victoria Burke)

(Newser) – The CDC has raised its response to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa to the highest-possible level—a sign that this battle could well be a long one, NBC News reports. CDC Director Thomas Frieden announced the "level 1 activation" today at a special congressional hearing, where he said that 200 CDC employees are already on the case in Atlanta and over 50 disease experts are heading to infected nations, Reuters reports. He conceded that some workers may bring home the disease and spread it among family and colleagues, but said he's "confident there will not be a large Ebola outbreak in the United States."

Frieden also divulged little on experimental treatments being given to two US aid workers at Emory University in Georgia: "In terms of the promising drugs, I can assure you that the US government is looking into this very carefully," he said. "But I don't want there to be false hope out there. Right now, we don't know if they work." The CDC has only gone to "level 1" two other times in its 11-year history: for Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and the H1N1 virus in 2009, Fox News reports. Now it's being activated for Ebola's "potential to affect many lives," the CDC said; the virus has killed at least 932 people in Liberia, Sierra Leone, Nigeria and Guinea.

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Aug 8, 2014 10:47 AM CDT
Well No Shit CDC - you bring two highly infectious people to the US instead of treating them where they were, then you raise the "Threat Level" to the highest ever in the history of the country because YOU BROUGHT IT HERE ! What An Ass Backwards Management Team You Have At The CDC ! ! !
Wayne Baumgartner
Aug 8, 2014 6:05 AM CDT
1) Well, we may need quarantine facilities, paid for by US taxpayers. Just more nonproductive public sector employees to add to our bloated public sector. 2) People, it's an election year. There will be a litany of red-herring diversions this year to take the attention of the plebeians from the miserable state they are in. 3) While we have a real unemployment rate around 12% and a recession-cum-depression that none of the liberal press is talking about the fed is still spending $1.38 for every dollar it is taking in. There surely is a coming explosion in interest rates and inflation. The longer we take to cut back on government largesse, the more painful the adjustments will be to every American. 4) A recent survey said that 76% of people, that's 3 out of 4, agree that there is no chance that their children or grandchildren will have the quality of life that they have enjoyed in America. The delicious poetic justice, according to this writer, is that over half of those polled voted for more of the very socialism that is the root cause. If you're happy with your state in America, keep voting for those incumbents in both of our two ruling parties. However, if you give a twit about your children or grandchildren, throw those incumbents out when you go into the voting booth this fall and in 2016. Peace, WLeoB, Canton, MI
Aug 8, 2014 2:17 AM CDT
Well halleluiah. Lets bring a few more infected back to the US. Maybe we can twist Murphy's arm into braking the law.