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CDC Director Tom Frieden: Ebola 'Drug Pipeline Will Be Slow'

CDC Director Tom Frieden said Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press" that the flow of drugs to fight the Ebola outbreak will be slow to reach West Africa.
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The Director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Sunday that the flow of drugs to fight the Ebola outbreak will be slow to reach West Africa and other affected countries. In an interview on NBC’s "Meet the Press," Dr. Tom Frieden said that recent successes in treatment were encouraging, but that a new supply of drugs was not on the horizon.

"The drug pipeline is going to be slow, I'm afraid,” Frieden told NBC’s Chuck Todd. "The most promising drug, ZMapp, there’s no more of it, and it’s hard to make, it takes months to make just a bit." He indicated that agencies were pursuing other avenues to fight the spread of Ebola, including multiple vaccines that are in the trial stage.

As of Sunday, the CDC reports 7,492 cases of Ebola have been documented worldwide, including one confirmed case in Dallas, Texas. Despite fears in the United States, Frieden is confident that the American system can handle the situation. "The bottom line here is we know how to stop it, it’s not going to spread widely in the U.S. for two basic reasons," he said. "We can do infection control in hospitals, and we can do public health interventions that can stop it in its tracks."


— Dale Armbruster and Shaquille Brewster