October 23, 2014

THE HILL: CDC shifts into overdrive on Ebola.

Health officials at the center of nation’s Ebola crisis are moving into overdrive to tame widespread public fears about the disease.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has announced three new protocols in the three days as it looks to assert control over the deadly virus that infected two Americans this month.

“The bottom line here is that we have to keep up our guard against Ebola,” Frieden told reporters Wednesday as he announced a three-week mandatory monitoring period for anyone traveling into the United States from West Africa.

The new protocols come after a week of brutal headlines for the CDC, which has been accused of falling down on the job once the first Ebola case was diagnosed in Dallas. The barrage of criticism prompted President Obama to cancel two days of campaign travel and appoint a special Ebola coordinator to direct the federal response.

CDC Director Tom Frieden said last week that the agency’s initial response in Dallas was not strong enough. He said the agency should have kept a closer eye on the nurses who treated that patient instead of letting them self-monitor for symptoms, which allowed them to travel publicly.

He also said the two nurses who became infected in Dallas may have been exposed to the virus because CDC’s protocols for hospital gear initially exposed some skin.

But even as the agency is conceding mistakes, the public storm over the agency’s response appears to be ebbing.

Well, maybe.

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