August 3rd, 2014
12:39 AM ET

Gupta: We're going to see Ebola around the world

Fareed speaks with Sanjay Gupta, CNN’s chief medical correspondent, about the recent outbreak of Ebola. Watch the full interview on "Fareed Zakaria GPS," this Sunday at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. ET on CNN.

Sanjay, how has this been blocked in the past? Why does this seem unprecedented? Is there something different right now?

You know, in a morbid way, it's because it killed so quickly – it would just burn out. You imagine these remote villages. People weren't moving around as quickly. And the Ebola virus – they would die and before they could start to spread it…it's awful to think about, but that's what was happening.

Now, you have a more mobile group. You have more roads between some of these smaller villages, such as in Guinea, where this originated, and the capital city of Conakry. There are roads. There are all these good passageways now back and forth. And so I think that part of it is certainly contributing. There’s also this idea that there’s a mistrust – I think a little bit of distrust, maybe – even of health care professionals. In part, that's fueled by the fact that there’s no good anti-viral, there’s no good vaccine. So we need to see health care workers show up, they're not offering some panacea to what is happening here.

And so there's not a lot of trust. And a lot of the people who are getting infected aren't hearing the right messages.  And you also have several epidemics sort of starting in different points almost simultaneously now. Usually, it was one place you could target.

Sanjay, how are we going to control the spread? How does one track whether people have Ebola? You think about, as you say, there are roads. There are also trains. There are also planes now. People can get on flights from Liberia, from Sierra Leone. How do we handle this?

Well, I think we're going to hear at some point – I don't know if it's during this outbreak or a future one – we are going to hear about patients with Ebola showing up in other countries in the Western Hemisphere. I can't imagine that not happening, having seen how it all works. And keep in mind, between the time of exposure to the virus and the time someone gets sick, it could be as long as 21 days. It can travel all over the world, obviously, during that time.

I think if there's any good news in this, it's when you think about countries like the United States, Britain, who are having high level discussions on this topic, they are in a much better position to be able to control this. First of all, they could isolate the patient quite quickly, provide fluids and blood clotting factors to try and provide what is called supportive therapy and prevent these patients with the virus becoming epidemics or the source of epidemics.

So I think it's going to happen. We're going to see Ebola around the world. But I think it's not going to turn into lots of mini outbreaks.​


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Topics: GPS Show • Health

soundoff (506 Responses)
  1. Dave the Butcher

    I think Dr. Gupta is being very careful with his words. I think people should be very concerned, I think every country should be taking precautions. This goes beyond right or left, east and west, Christian or Muslim. This could literally end human existence on this earth. We need to put all of our differences aside, and come together to protect our species.

    August 3, 2014 at 4:20 am | Reply
    • Tom

      You should protect yourself from more realistic threats first. Like a shark atttack in a swimming pool.

      August 3, 2014 at 5:16 am | Reply
      • Bobloblaw

        Are you saying there have been over 700 people die from pool related shark attacks because to date 700 plus have died from Ebola.

        August 3, 2014 at 7:20 am |
  2. moxbroker

    Especially when the stupid Americans, of which I am one apparently, decide it's a good idea to start bringing patients here instead of treating them where they got sick. Really smart idea moving the highly infectious disease around while it's incubating inside patients. But they're Americans, so I guess it's unthinkable to treat them in Africa.

    August 3, 2014 at 4:20 am | Reply
    • brian577

      Yeah those stupid Americans. Taking their citizens to a first class facility designed for treating these kinds of diseases with the best medicine instead of some 3rd world hell hole. What were they thinking?

      August 3, 2014 at 4:37 am | Reply
      • seattlegrl

        We don't have a vaccine for ebola, so what are you talking about best medicine. We are giving fluids to this person, Checking blood pressure, maintain breathing and vital functions. Unless there is something created in the last 48 hours. What best medicine.

        August 3, 2014 at 4:55 am |
      • sanjay gupta

        Fuuuck you Brian you liberal fuuucktard. I hope you catch Ebola you stuuuuupiiiid arrogant fuuuckkkkkk.

        Dr. Gupta soon to be Dr Goooop-duh

        August 3, 2014 at 7:38 am |
    • The Cat

      What an uneducated response.

      August 3, 2014 at 4:42 am | Reply
    • CitizenJoe

      Apparently, you don't read too well. "It could be as long as 21 days" before someone who's infected start showing symptoms. This isn't just a problem for the countries that have seen the's an issue for the entire CONNECTED world.

      August 3, 2014 at 4:54 am | Reply
    • mdm

      It isn't "highly infectious". It's very virulent. Bringing them here was the smart thing to do; it prepares us for the eventuality that it gets here undetected. If we did nothing it would arrive here and we would be less prepared for it. We are safer seeing it firsthand before it gets here.

      August 3, 2014 at 6:50 am | Reply
      • Kris M.D.

        absolutely correct!

        August 3, 2014 at 1:29 pm |
    • Teri

      It is spread much like the HIV virus – not exactly much of a threat to the average person going about their daily business.

      August 3, 2014 at 7:26 am | Reply
  3. seattlegrl

    This is outragous. This is the same cdc which was in the news for mistakes it made a few weeks ago. The cdc is being very careful with its wording to not cause a panic. This is the same cdc which is trying to downplay the seriousness of the situation. By saying they are equipped, they are able to contain it. Yes, the medical society can contain SARS, yes it can control, the flu, swine flu and the like. But we are talking EBOLA a disease which has never touched American soil. We will see an outbreak, gupta said so, the cdc said it was a possibility, but by acting nonchalant and its not a big deal is just plain wrong. Just because we are Americans does not mean we are immune. There is no vaccine, no study nothing in our clinical facilities.

    August 3, 2014 at 4:35 am | Reply
    • snowboarder

      There is a vaccine for Ebola that has been successful on primates that will start being tested on humans next month according to reports. Seems that bumping that up a month if possible might be wise.

      August 3, 2014 at 4:54 am | Reply
      • da68andyda68

        Which is probably the real reason they have brought him back to the US, to try it without a lot of fanfare and not risk the failure being public if it does not work.

        August 3, 2014 at 6:22 am |
    • Alex Besogonov

      US – the home of the brave. Not.

      What about compassion towards your citizen and a duty to help them?

      August 3, 2014 at 6:05 am | Reply
    • Nick

      Ebola on the move is certainly not a thing to be nonchalant about, but realistically, you are more likely to die horribly, painfully, in a car accident sometime this week or dying from particularly virulent strain of influenza than contracting ebola any time within... oh... let's say the rest of your natural lifespan.

      Keep calm with proper perspective and rationality intact and avoid contact with the diarrhea, vomit, blood or stool of another person. Refrain from washing the body of a recently deceased person – and you should be fine.

      August 3, 2014 at 7:24 am | Reply
  4. Medicine Man

    Ebola currently has a mortality rate of about 60% and that's likely to go down. By comparison, the plague in the 1300s had a mortality rate of about 70% and we survived that, so anxiety that Ebola could end the human race is misplaced.

    The three Americans (two actually with Ebola) who have returned to the US are either past the most dangerous phase or have no symptoms. All three are ambulatory and likely to survive without infecting anyone else (bear in mind that it takes physical contact to transfer the virus).

    There are aspects of terrorism related to the dissemination of Ebola that are worthy of closer scrutiny, however.

    August 3, 2014 at 4:40 am | Reply
  5. brian577

    This article is full of paranoia. I suggest everyone read the BBC article Living in the Shadow of Ebola which explains that even in a 3rd world country like Sierra Leon Ebola is easily containable with proper education and hygiene.

    August 3, 2014 at 4:42 am | Reply
  6. snowboarder

    I have no problem with them bringing the Americans back to the States to get first class medical treatment. As someone said, don't let your fear outweigh compassion.
    I do think, however, they should not be treated in a public hospital but at the military base they flew into where they can easily be treated without any risk of exposure to the public.
    Isolation unit at Emory aside, one mistake and there will be real problems.

    August 3, 2014 at 4:49 am | Reply
    • brian577

      Because it's a military not a hospital. Emory works with the CDC.

      August 3, 2014 at 5:17 am | Reply
      • snowboarder

        No reason you can't set up an isolation unit there like they did on the plane to get them over there.

        August 3, 2014 at 5:21 am |
    • mdm

      Since the hospital is right down the street from the CDC, it's a good bet they're one of the most prepared hospitals for this type of thing.

      August 3, 2014 at 6:54 am | Reply
      • snowboarder

        Understand what is being stated for sure. My 3 thoughts are this:
        1) the CDC has had issues lately with containment lately (anthrax and that whole mess)
        2) at a military base the medical staff could be quarantined for 21 days following meaning no chance of someone else getting it- in a hospital with hundreds of others around, chances are slim in isolation but not nothing
        3) treatment is merely maintaining iv fluids and blood to let immune systems do their work- certainly not high level complicated treatment

        August 3, 2014 at 7:23 am |
  7. jim

    how about sanjay gupta? is that it? how about this idiot gets off the payroll of cnn and that oher woman, cant remember her name right off hand. Watching CNN is almost like watching fox/msnbc etc. gupta is as about american as jones. dah.

    August 3, 2014 at 5:03 am | Reply
  8. Name*JS

    Fear pusher!!

    August 3, 2014 at 5:08 am | Reply
  9. jim

    gupta???????? is paind by cnn, a thing in atlanta for some type of medical commentary and he gives it. because he is paid by cnn to do that. gupta go back to your medical professions and help people, forget about making money. dude get real with what you decided to do in your life!!!!!!!!!!!
    the money is just to much for your to resist? that is right, and a name like sanjay guptay?????????? holy nhell you "aint" born and breed american, trust me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    August 3, 2014 at 5:08 am | Reply
    • oh

      take a deep breath. out with the bad air, in with the good air.

      August 3, 2014 at 6:44 am | Reply
    • DonJuan1943

      When in danger, when in doubt. Run in circles, scream and shout.

      August 3, 2014 at 7:56 am | Reply
  10. jim

    gupta/obama what the hell is this country doing. wht do you think. so much gupta stuff/ so much cant remember that lady's name now on cnn but she is anoher paid expert, god lookd at matt lauer or whoever and then this woman is on tv. i can tell more than this woman could, she gets paid for her stuff and so does matt lauer??????????????

    August 3, 2014 at 5:13 am | Reply
  11. jim

    EBOLA is very very serious/ i am not making light of it/we could be all infected/ cdc says it is an infectious disese, only get it if you interact with body fluids from another. okay so be it, people do not interact with people.

    August 3, 2014 at 5:15 am | Reply
  12. Marek Soupizon

    Hopefully it will spread to 1.5 billion China and 1.5 billion India rather than the decent western nations that have far smaller population and suffer from Chinese and Indian immigration.

    August 3, 2014 at 5:16 am | Reply
    • brian577

      What the hell is wrong with you?

      August 3, 2014 at 5:21 am | Reply
      • Marine

        US Population: 300 million
        Europe total population (49 countries): 700 million
        Canada Population: 35 million
        Australia Population: 23 million
        These decent races are shrinking in population.

        China Population: 1.5 billion
        India Population: 1.5 billion
        These backwards races are expanding in population and infesting the countries listed above.

        So, you should be asking what's wrong with the world rather than what's wrong with him.

        August 3, 2014 at 6:12 am |
      • Dianne

        Developed nations should ban Chinese and Indians from opening restaurants in their countries so that their abuse of immigration comes to a halt. They love to complain about racism or discrimination but China and India do not welcome foreigners or give them any rights afterall. It's only fair.

        August 3, 2014 at 6:21 am |
      • mycatkiggy

        Lol could be karma for the way we've treated the planet and the other living beings that live here. Perhaps the world could cleanse itself eventually and start over with a less destructive and evil hearted species in control.

        However, I have no objections to any american being brought home for treatment. It makes sense to anyone with any intelligence, even as far as learning and developing treatment options. It doesn't matter if they are brought to a military base or a public or private hospital or anywhere else. They will come in contact with people and it can be spread regardless if that is what is to be. For those abroad, you will find that Americans lack compassion for anything unless it's for their own being. Spoiled rotten and out of control. Maybe we can contribute something back to the world community by finding a deterrent or cure.

        August 3, 2014 at 6:23 am |
    • berticode

      Decent western nations? If there is an oxymoron that is it... Chinese and Indian women cover up, have family values, low divorce rates and cheating, not much p0rn, n2de beaches, swing, stri9 clubs or mass shootings.. West should contain itself... Wait it's already happening... 1 in 3 Americans now have some sort of std. "The wages of sin is death" – the Bible

      August 3, 2014 at 7:44 am | Reply
      • Micca Bons

        Do you not read the news? India is the absolute worst in the world when it comes to r4pe and s3xual abus3 both within family and in public. It doesn't get any worse. Even the poorest African nations are doing better than India in a lot of ways. The problem is that Indians have a fantasy world version of their country and they try to fool everyone in the foreign countries they live in. They are proud for all the absurd reasons while they shouldn't have any.

        August 3, 2014 at 8:13 pm |
    • Mik

      You will be the 1st to get ebola in the USA i hope

      August 3, 2014 at 7:40 pm | Reply
      • Micca Bons

        Nope. You will be. Sorry for the bad news.

        August 3, 2014 at 8:06 pm |
  13. Observer

    .......Obama / Ebola......this is an ULTRA SERIOUS microbial's been growing for the past 6 months and spreading itself around the globe – yet there's been absolutely no leadership on this crisis from Obama or anyone else in the U.S. ......EBOLA-INFECTED PEOPLE ARE CROSSING THE MEXICAN-US BORDER.....and all of it is being hushed-up by shamefullly incompetent governement employees like obama and the rest of these so-called politicians.............we're in trouble ....

    August 3, 2014 at 5:26 am | Reply
  14. cbp

    Are their scientists working on a vaccine or treatment option? Which pharmaceutical companies are involved in the effort?

    August 3, 2014 at 5:30 am | Reply
    • oh

      I don't think so. Maybe you should write them a letter and let them know your idea.

      August 3, 2014 at 6:49 am | Reply
    • snowboarder

      A vaccine exists which has proven successful in primates and in September, trials are scheduled to begin with humans.

      August 3, 2014 at 7:41 am | Reply
  15. jack meofferman

    He didnt mention thats its christian cults spreading this disease and united states pastors are to blame.the william branham cult has over 75 members that are sick or have died so far..these freaks are using their sick exorcism on members and saying they can cure everyone....what idiots..... christians are directly responsible for this disease getting out of hand and it s time they were punished...

    August 3, 2014 at 5:30 am | Reply
    • Jay

      Your an idiot

      August 3, 2014 at 6:10 am | Reply
      • Deb Trouty

        "Your" irony is delicious.

        August 3, 2014 at 7:11 am |
    • Jones2732

      Seriously? That is one of the most bigoted things i have ever heard. The issue isn't religion, it is uneducated people, with a strong distrust for doctors, especially western ones. I am guessing you fall into that category as well.

      August 3, 2014 at 6:44 am | Reply
  16. TewksburyBob

    This is a very dangerous situation.

    August 3, 2014 at 5:53 am | Reply
  17. Cat

    There is a bigger reason ebola has been intentionally brought into the us, even in a hot suit. What are we not being told, why is there suddenly talk of a vaccine, if there are only 4 small facilities in us to treat this, what happens in an outbreak? Run for a vaccine, hide? Someone is set to make millions in kickbacks.,and we are all guinnea pigs.

    August 3, 2014 at 6:02 am | Reply
  18. dan33035

    The disease would have died out in the villages had not the christian goody-two-shoes gone in to proselytize and interfere with the culture. They only helped it to spread. The situation is sad and I feel sorry for the victims, but the reality is that most are going to die anyway, and this is one case where it would have been better not trying to help.

    August 3, 2014 at 6:04 am | Reply
    • somewhere in US

      Agree with you, and it took courage for you to post the truth.

      August 3, 2014 at 9:47 pm | Reply
  19. mshumbirdie

    So many here are total uneducated IDIOTS, with 0 medical background or basic knowledge. Please know what you're posting..... Oh BTW the MD Sanjay Gupta IS american born & trained AND is a professor of neurosurgery @ Emory. Peace to all. oh they could try IVIG to boost the immune system to POSSIBILY HELP

    August 3, 2014 at 6:07 am | Reply
  20. Jay

    Your an idiot

    August 3, 2014 at 6:11 am | Reply
    • Deb Trouty

      Didn't realize you posted this twice. Amazing.

      August 3, 2014 at 7:13 am | Reply
  21. Skydiver # 1

    First it was the Aids-virus coming from Africa and now the Ebola-virus coming from Africa. There has to be something going on in Africa, that causes these viruses to end up in humans.

    August 3, 2014 at 6:24 am | Reply
  22. Dr.Mario Saric, DVM

    Ebola cant spread so dramatically because people in USA and Europe are careful and live very sterile lifes ( hygine is very high ) and that fact is important in case of Ebola. Ebola can be very dangerous if it appears in Asia ( big number of people, low hygiene standards ) .This disease is not air-born and thats very optimistic, in case of virus mutation and if it becomes air-born we can see 2-3 billion casulties . For now We will see outbreaks on local scales, future will show will we have bigger egzacerbation of that illness .

    August 3, 2014 at 6:26 am | Reply
  23. Fred

    Nothing a large scale hydrogen bomb can't end.

    August 3, 2014 at 6:26 am | Reply
  24. Optimist5

    Hummm, what shall I write about today. I know, I'll scare the crap out of everyone.

    August 3, 2014 at 6:39 am | Reply
  25. Skydiver # 1

    I just read where the Ebola-Virus got transferred to humans in Africa, because Africans are eating Gorillas, Monkeys and Bats. This means there will be more killer-viruses appearing in Africa.

    August 3, 2014 at 6:47 am | Reply
  26. Joey Isotta-Fraschini©

    The most inteligenty and ruthlessly careful have the advantage regarding survival.
    When AIDS appeared, then called GRID, health officials produced leaflets stating that there was no evidence that it was contagious, and that thinking that it was contagious was like believing that storks brought babies. I knew that to be a perversion of the scientific process, and I spent as much time as possible isolated in a country house.
    Currently, the medication that effectively controls HIV is extremely expensive. I think that it is far more profitable for the pharmaceutical industry than the production of an HIV vaccine would be.

    August 3, 2014 at 7:04 am | Reply
  27. Roy C. Gutfinski

    Dr. Gupta is likely quite correct. The other thing I am concerned about is terrorists using this deadly disease as a weapon. We have thousands of people crossing our southern border illegally and apparently without much interference from our government authorities. Many of these folks originate in places with minimal health care and inadequate sanitary facilities. Terrorists would need only to be instrumental in infecting a small number of these immigrants and we would have a major problem on our hands. As TSA gropes elderly travelers and infants searching for non-existent banned items in our airports, perhaps our government had better be thinking about the possibility of terrorists using the Ebola virus against us. Obamacare and all these other gimmicks are not going to be much help if this disease gains a foothold in American communities.

    August 3, 2014 at 7:06 am | Reply
    • Joey Isotta-Fraschini©

      The potential for terrorists is great, especially because most terrorists are guided by a completely irrational teaching of Islam regarding martyrdom and paradise.

      August 3, 2014 at 7:16 am | Reply
  28. btea5503

    Dr.aonjay talked about connectivity such as roads, planes, trains etc..Maybe based on the seriousness of the disease, I think it is time to stop all modes of transportation from bring people to this country to visit or whatever. This is the only way this disease or virus can be stopped from infecting people here. It;s time to go beyond travel alerts. People are going to travel regardless of what kind of alerts there are. I know the government doesn't want to take harsh measurements such as travel restriction to and from this countries, but it has to be done. I'm believing now that even Sanjay is getting worried.

    August 3, 2014 at 7:18 am | Reply
    • somewhere in US


      August 3, 2014 at 9:45 pm | Reply
  29. rick

    The truth is the news about ebola is told to let people know about it. And yes the road conditions are much better this time aruond than last. And no. They dont know the scource or even how its spread. They THINK by fluids but that may not be only way. And yes worry. The black plague.. And the 1918 flu. How many realy know about that one?? Killed over 28 MILLION people by 1920. And ebola has the potential of same BECAUSE it was spread by people traveling back from end of WW 1. So yes again this is a concern of major proportions. Knowledge is power. Learn.. Dont speculate or guess. And again yes. Several countries are not even close to same hygene standards of america. That should be a major concern to them. But thats the problem when put greed above anything else there..

    August 3, 2014 at 7:21 am | Reply
    • Nasdaq7

      May all you rich industrialized a–holes be wiped out by ebola once this virus evolves into an airbourne version.

      August 7, 2014 at 11:52 am | Reply
  30. Graeme from Ottawa

    What an absurd reaction to a possible pandemic. Stop blaming, judging, condemning and start thinking rationally. KEEP CALM

    August 3, 2014 at 7:24 am | Reply
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