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CDC Director Compares Ebola Epidemic to AIDS

A sign in Makoua, Congo, warns visitors last month that Ebola is in the area Shutterstock


On Thursday, a day after the Ebola virus claimed the first person diagnosed with the disease in the U.S., the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention invoked another recent and ongoing health crisis while fundraising in Washington, D.C.

Dr. Tom Frieden brought up AIDS while drumming up funds from some particularly deep-pocketed donors, as NBC News relayed that day:

“In the 30 years I’ve been working in public health, the only thing like this has been AIDS,” CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden said at a World Bank and International Monetary Fund annual meeting in Washington, D.C., where many countries pledged funds and services to try to stem the virus ravaging West Africa. “And we have to work now so that this is not the world’s next AIDS.”

Although his goals were clearly different in this situation, Frieden’s message was more dire than the tone he took Sept. 30, when he announced that the first patient diagnosed with Ebola in America, who was later identified as Thomas Eric Duncan, was being treated in Dallas. At the time, Frieden said of the epidemic, “there is no doubt in my mind that we will stop it here.”

Although that may yet be the case, Duncan succumbed to the virus Wednesday in Dallas, two weeks after he began showing symptoms of the disease.

–Posted by Kasia Anderson

Kasia Anderson
Executive Editor
Dr. Kasia Anderson is Truthdig's executive editor. After graduating from Swarthmore College in 1997 with a degree in English literature and sociology, she worked as a Web journalist in San Francisco until…
Kasia Anderson

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