ABIDJAN – The United States Embassy today announced that two health experts from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), based in the United States, arrived in Côte d’Ivoire this week to assist the government with efforts to prevent the spread of Ebola into the country.
While there have been no confirmed cases of Ebola in Côte d’Ivoire, the country remains at high risk given its borders with affected countries. The CDC experts will help assess and strengthen plans in place to prevent the spread of the disease, plans for mitigation and treatment if the disease does become present in the country, and provide technical assistance on Ebola contact tracing activities. The experts are expected to be in country from September 11 to 25.
“While the government of Côte d’Ivoire has taken many of the necessary steps needed to prevent the spread of the disease, the United States is happy to assist the country to further those efforts through the visit of two health experts,” U.S. Ambassador to Côte d’Ivoire Terence McCulley said. “While there are no guarantees that the disease can be completely avoided in Côte d’Ivoire, we can work to ensure that if a case is reported, patients are quickly isolated and treated so that the disease does not spread further.”
The government of the United States has been engaged in stemming the Ebola outbreak since March when the first cases in the region were reported and has expanded its efforts and increased personnel in the region in response to the increased severity. The U.S. currently has approximately 100 specialists throughout the affected countries working on activities such as the distribution of health equipment and emergency supplies, support for public health messaging, and technical expertise to assist with issues such as airport screening and contact tracing.
In addition, the CDC now has more than 70 staff deployed in Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone assisting with various response efforts, including assistance with Ebola incident control and management, laboratory testing, surveillance, contact tracing, database management, and health education. All these efforts are expected to help prevent, detect, and stop the spread of Ebola in affected countries.