US sets up rapid-response Ebola team

Updated: 2014-10-15 09:52


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The hospital has been criticized for not admitting Duncan the first time he sought help, days after arriving in the United States from Liberia. He returned days later in an ambulance.

"We did send some expertise in infection control, but I think ... we could have sent a more robust hospital infection control team and been more hands on," Frieden said on Tuesday.

He said two nurses from Emory University's Serious Communicable Disease Unit are now on the ground working with the Dallas hospital on the proper use of personal protective gear.

Frieden is recommending that the hospital limit the number of staff who care for Pham so that people who treat her can become more familiar and more comfortable with using protective gear. Nurses groups have demanded better training and guidance on how to use equipment that already includes face shields, masks, gowns and gloves.

Frieden has come under pressure over the response and preparedness for Ebola, but White House spokesman Josh Earnest said Obama is confident of Frieden's ability to lead the public health effort. He said White House Homeland Security adviser Lisa Monaco "continues to play the role of coordinating the efforts" of all agencies involved.

WHO Assistant Director-General Bruce Aylward said on Tuesday that by the first week in December, the WHO projections suggest there may be between 5,000 and 10,000 new cases a week in impoverished Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia.

Aylward stressed the difficulty of making accurate predictions. The WHO said the actual mortality rate is about 70 percent in those countries, compared with the roughly 50 percent reported previously.