Local humanitarian group urges staff to use caution - CBS46 News

Local humanitarian group urges staff to use caution

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Medical teams in west Africa treated patients infected with Ebola as they tried to prevent the disease from spreading.

In Washington, D.C., Dr. Thomas Frieden, Director of the Centers for Disease Control, told lawmakers the CDC is on its highest alert level.

"We are making an extensive effort to do everything we can to stop the outbreak," Frieden said.

The Ebola outbreak that is sweeping through the west African countries Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea and Nigeria, has killed nearly 1,000 people.

Two American aid workers, Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebol, are being treated at Emory Hospital in Atlanta.

Dr. Helene Gayle, who heads the Atlanta-based humanitarian aid group, CARE, said her staff often enter remote areas with little or no access to healthcare, leaving them vulnerable to deadly diseases.

"There are always risks in the kind of work we do. We work with the poorest communities who are still at the margins of poverty," Gayle said.

CARE is taking extra precautions to keep its staff safe in west Africa.

"We're making sure that people who may be in high-risk areas are not congregating and are staying closer to home than they usually would," Gayle said. "getting the information out, making sure they understand the symptoms, making sure they know what to do and what not to do to protect themselves from exposure."

Gayle said CARE is telling staff members to get checked out if they come down with flu-like symptoms and to avoid contact with people who have those symptoms.      

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