TIME ebola

CDC Director: Ebola Is ‘Worse Than I’d Feared’

Director of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Tom Frieden testifies during a hearing before the Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights and International Organizations Subcommittee of the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Aug. 7, 2014 in Washington.
Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, testifies during a hearing before the Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights and International Organizations Subcommittee of the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Aug. 7, 2014 in Washington, D.C. Alex Wong—Getty Images

Dr. Tom Frieden told CNN the Ebola outbreak is "much bigger" than anyone anticipated

In an interview with CNN on Wednesday, the director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Tom Frieden, said the Ebola outbreak in West Africa is a “much bigger problem than anyone anticipated.”

“It’s even worse than I’d feared,” Frieden said in an interview with CNN in Liberia.

Liberia is one of several West African countries at the epicenter of the world’s largest outbreak in history of the deadly virus. Over 1,400 people have died in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. The virus has also spread to Nigeria, where the outbreak has killed five people and prompted the shuttering of public schools until October.

But Frieden says hope is not lost; Ebola can be stopped.

“We can stop Ebola,” he said Wednesday, noting that the virus is spread through contact with body fluids, which has often come as a result of caring for the sick and during burial after the infected have perished. “We need to work together to care for people so that they can get the support they need without spreading in communities.”

He added, “The sooner the world comes together to help Liberia and West Africans, the safer we will all be.”

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