President Obama addresses the "people of West Africa" in a video posted Tuesday by the U.S. State Department regarding the growing threat of the Ebola virus, which Centers for Disease Control director Tom Friedman just declared on CNN "completely out of control" in Africa (via HotAir). The president conveys his condolences to those affected by the outbreak and stresses that the U.S. government is working with the governments of West African nations to combat the disease:
Saying that it's important to know the facts, the president emphasizes that the virus cannot be spread through the air or by casual contact. He goes on in rather graphic terms to warn about the ways the virus can be spread: "touching the body fluids of someone who's sick or has died from it - like their sweat, saliva, or blood; or through a contaminated item, like a needle." He says that caring at home for those sick with Ebola and burial practices for those who have died from it are adding to the spread of the disease.
President Obama encourages those who experience symptoms of the disease, such as a high fever, to seek treatment immediately, since, with proper care, "nearly half of patients can recover."
The White House addressed Ebola earlier this summer, cross-posting a Centers for Disease Control blog item on the White House website. Just last week, the state department issued an alert entitled "Potential Implications for Travel Because of Ebola in Parts of West Africa," and Tuesday tweeted a link to the president's video above.