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. Joey Isotta-Fraschini©

    Dr. Gupta spoke carefully of the previous containment of Ebola by its rapidity.
    I question the humanitarianism of sending medical workers to remote villages where the virus is known to exist. We make all attempts to prevent "saviors'" entering burning homes, and we deplore the loss of lives in attempts to rescue drowning swimmers near waterfalls.
    I would isolate an Ebola-ridden village and let it burn out.

    August 3, 2014 at 7:42 am | Reply
    • snowboarder

      Too late. It's already in population centers, not just confined to rural areas anymore.

      August 3, 2014 at 7:47 am | Reply
    • EMcK

      That works fine if it's an isolated village, however, this time it was in a city with international presence.

      It's hard to isolate a city like that.

      August 3, 2014 at 8:24 am | Reply
      • Code

        It's already in Atlanta. Millions of deaths are about to occur. This is mother nature's way of fixing our over-population epidemic this world is having.

        August 3, 2014 at 9:52 am |
    • Condit Chizlit

      "I would isolate an Ebola-ridden village and let it burn out."

      I hope you're in one of those villages...

      August 3, 2014 at 8:37 am | Reply
      • guest000001

        It seems you those words you quoted were taken out of context. I looked in the entire article, and that quote verbatim is not in it. If you can show me in the article the exact line that contains that quote, I would be interested in seeing that. Taking things out of context gives a false and unfair impression of what he was saying.

        August 3, 2014 at 9:27 am |
      • Mike

        I knew ppl would take what you wrote the wrong way. It does sound insensitive, but you're right. There's no cure; only containment.

        August 3, 2014 at 9:39 am |
      • MikeS

        Looks like Condit Chizlit is the only one here wishing ill on someone else.

        August 3, 2014 at 9:41 am |
    • zee

      Isolate a whole village and let it burn out? wow, that's very insensitive, how would you feel if you were in one of those villages

      August 3, 2014 at 9:06 am | Reply
      • stevegreer1

        How is that insensitive? That is how the virus has been handled for decades or even longer. The reason why the virus has been able to be kept so isolated until now is because it kills so quickly. The villages where an outbreak would occur would be left to burn out to prevent the spread to other villages. Why is it now so insensitive to want to handle it the same way? Why? Because Americans have become so overly sensitive to everything because of the invading liberal mindset. That's why. Let nature run its course and let's stop interfering just so we can get our "feel-good" out of it.

        August 3, 2014 at 9:30 am |
      • jeanht

        Well, since there is no cure And it was likely I would die anyway I would hope that no left to infect others, including me. How would you feel? Would you put your doomed life above others?

        August 3, 2014 at 9:37 am |
      • Mitch Conner

        The reason Ebola is on the rise is because of "humanitarians" like you. How about instead of policing the world...sending doctors to crappy third world countries to help combat the disease...we just keep hanging out in the US...disease free. Just because we can help doesn't mean we should. Don't be naive people...the path to hell is paved with good intentions.

        August 3, 2014 at 9:47 am |
    • R.James

      That is exactly what we should do but there is no profit to be made with that approach.

      August 3, 2014 at 9:16 am | Reply
      • R.James

        I want to clarify that I do not think these initial remote areas, once defined as areas of outbreaks should be untreated, simply that they should be kept isolated with aide only going in and no exposed care providers going out until they have been quarantined. Having said that I sincerely feel there is the larger concept of western companies and org. playing a hand in deciding how these outbreaks are managed, and in all fairness the local populations with this particular outbreak have done much in the way of helping the virus spread, in some instances "kidnapping" villagers back from hospitals, obviously there is a lot of fear and paranoia amongst the people of Africa, of course this is not helping the efforts to stop the spread.

        August 3, 2014 at 9:29 am |
    • Klaark

      Pretend it's white people with the virus. How do you feel now?

      August 3, 2014 at 9:23 am | Reply
    • brenna56

      I agree. I think the irresponsibility of this is inexcusable. To have a doctor bring it home to us is unforgivable. Travel from there needs to be halted.

      August 3, 2014 at 9:38 am | Reply
  2. gdnctr

    It already has.

    August 3, 2014 at 7:44 am | Reply
  3. Charles DuBouis

    We all gone die.

    August 3, 2014 at 7:47 am | Reply
  4. wilburw7

    They brought a doctor infected with Ebola to a major hospital in Georgia. It is horrible to know that they brought the disease to a large populated area. And we know they do not understand how not to get infected because a doctor that was an expert on the disease got infected.

    August 3, 2014 at 8:01 am | Reply
    • Doug

      My thoughts exactly...

      August 3, 2014 at 8:05 am | Reply
      • Javad

        Please do not spread fear. At any point in time there are a few monkeys and tens of mice infected with Ebola in one of the P4 labs around the US. In terms of risk of spread, there is no difference if you have a human full of virus in an isolation unit or in animals in a P4 lab. this has been going on for decades in the US and more intensely in the past 15 years. There has not been a single case of spread. people who are doing this know what they are doing.

        August 3, 2014 at 8:58 am |
      • jayson born

        yeah right.. they know what they are doing just like the story about in the 1950s a nuke was almost let off inside the united states from a plane transporting it. the government is made of people just like you or I... possible stoners too... dont be a tool... i worked in the world trade center before it was destroyed.. they told us to keep calm and wait it out through the loudspeakers... and you know what I did thats why im still here.

        August 3, 2014 at 10:53 am |
    • Joe

      We do understand how not to get infected. These doctors went out to remote villages with no running water or power. They are working out of tents with limited supplies. Do you really think they are following every protocol? The doctors are getting infected because of the conditions in which they are forced to work.

      We do a great job controlling diseases that spread much easier such as airborne Pulmonary Tuberculosis. Ebola is such a problem due to its fast fatality rate and lack of cure, not how it spreads.

      August 3, 2014 at 8:26 am | Reply
      • mcdanel1771

        Thank you for acknowledging the dreadful conditions under which these doctors volunteer their time.

        August 3, 2014 at 9:56 am |
      • Paul

        When you've got the cdc and other government agencies running things, you can always expect a disaster. This is not going to work out well at all. If you want to believe the government and mainstream media bs, you're the fool.

        August 4, 2014 at 12:20 am |
    • Julie

      I am not afraid of the two known cases that are coming to the US under CDC care. I am afraid of the heathcare workers and missionaries that will be traveling through large cities and airports and eventually returning to the US. These people should be placed in isolatated during their travel and once they reach there destination for the duration of the incubation period.

      August 3, 2014 at 9:09 am | Reply
      • P. Thaddeus

        I'm worried not about the good health care workers, but the crazy jihadists and terrorists who only have send those suicide wannabes out to get themselves infected. Then all they have to do is get on planes to the largest cities and have them infect anyone they can. Scary!

        August 3, 2014 at 9:49 am |
    • brenna56

      True.

      August 3, 2014 at 9:39 am | Reply
  5. dropandgiveme20

    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?

    and we have those who risk the lives of others and bring it to the states..
    wonderful

    August 3, 2014 at 8:09 am | Reply
    • Jail Nurse

      Tom Clancy wrote a book, EXECUTIVE ORDERS, where the United States was attacked by terrorist using the airborne version of Ebola. The only way to stop the spread was to effectively shut down the country. No travel at all. Everyone was made to stay where they were, shelter in place. Effectively Martial Law

      August 3, 2014 at 8:12 am | Reply
      • Jon

        At least we won't starve to death, thanks to Amazon's drones!

        August 3, 2014 at 8:25 am |
      • ceemonster3

        RE Martial Law: They need to send UN troops to the affected West African regions, now. Everybody needs to get on board. And simultaneously, the world's prosperous nations need to get on board for a concerted infusion of high-quality medical equipment and resources for the kind of "support care" that helps people sick with Ebola survive it. Yes, containment needs to be implemented in West Africa until it is stopped. But that needs to be hand-in-hand with big-time medical resource assistance.

        August 3, 2014 at 8:53 am |
      • Paul

        Eventually the government will set up quarantine centers and force many citizens into them.
        Btw..who's paying for the medical bills when the average us citizen becomes infected?

        August 4, 2014 at 12:23 am |
  6. Jail Nurse

    To think that someone intentionally broke quarantine on a highly contagious disease with no cure and an 80% fatality rate is not only criminal it is insane.

    Thru out nursing school and in every place i have worked, the is a constant emphasis – DO NOT BREAK PROTOCOL, DO NOT BREAK QUARANTINE. If we are lucky, this quarantine will work, however my biggest fear is that it is to late and someone new in Atlanta is already infected

    August 3, 2014 at 8:09 am | Reply
    • Condit Chizlit

      :Thru out nursing school and in every place i have worked, the is a constant emphasis – DO NOT BREAK PROTOCOL, DO NOT BREAK QUARANTINE."

      How about: Do not fear-monger, Do not make predictions based on groundless assumptions.

      August 3, 2014 at 8:45 am | Reply
      • katibabi

        Here here!! As I nurse, I wonder if she takes care of a flu patient and then returns home to her un-exposed family when her shift is over? Oh wait!! I forgot, we are not afraid of the flu – after all, it kills more each season than Ebola does. Silly me.

        August 3, 2014 at 12:30 pm |
    • ceemonster3

      They have to choose between evils right now. Dr. Gupa is correct. Given human error, human fallibility, and flat-out human idiocy, it is a given that it will appear on other continents. Because of this, they have no choice but to try to learn as much about it as they can now. And that requires live people who are sick with it. That has to be the main reason they are bringing these two folks here for study. given that at this moment there is not cure and no treatment but for support measures, they could fly top-quality support equipment and medicines to africa to set up for these two folks there. it has to be for research that they are here. and in a way it makes sense. it IS going to turn up in other continents. they MUST try to learn about it NOW. the cdc does not have the right to go over to africa and study african patients. they now have two of their own citizens, and they do have to study it in people who are sick with it, in order to try to find the key to stopping, curing, blocking, crippling it. additionally, if one or both of these folks recovers (as we all pray they will), they will need to study the antibodies their systems produce, and all that sort of thing. this is for everybody on the globe. and it is also for the folks over in west africa right now where it is out of control.

      August 3, 2014 at 8:57 am | Reply
      • Paul

        The research is the problem! The cdc, under government control, can now try to turn it into a controllable biological weapon. I do hope the two individuals get well, but, I just do not trust the government agencies in finding a vaccine “for the good of mankind".

        August 4, 2014 at 12:27 am |
  7. Joe

    Now that it's a global scare, it's just a matter of time before Big Pharma cashes in. Don't worry, the opportunity to make billions won't be squandered. When it was just poor folks that couldn't pay in Africa, nobody was motivated to help. Watch the magic of profit swoop in to save us all. Long live capitalism...

    August 3, 2014 at 8:09 am | Reply
    • ceemonster3

      If the magic of capitalism is the thing that does the trick, everybody should be grateful. Human beings will evolve at some point into being motivated to innovate and create and discover for free, just for the sheer inner joy or spiritual satisfaction of it. But we have a century or three before that happens. If the Jonas Salk of Ebola does it for a cut of the action, I won't begrudge him his cut...

      August 3, 2014 at 9:00 am | Reply
      • Joe

        Oh, nor I. Just pointing out that panic and fear should be tempered by the wonders of money driven science. And... Worst case, we're not all screwed. Just 60% of us:)

        August 3, 2014 at 9:38 am |
  8. Wetspot

    No one will take action until faces start falling off people in crowded cities. See you all in hell.

    August 3, 2014 at 8:11 am | Reply
    • Condit Chizlit

      You've been watching too many horror movies. Go for a walk and clear your mind.

      August 3, 2014 at 8:47 am | Reply
  9. tom

    Stop ALL travel in and out of these countries now before its to late.

    August 3, 2014 at 8:12 am | Reply
  10. Jon

    Neither the person interviewing nor the person being interviewed sounds very educated here.

    August 3, 2014 at 8:21 am | Reply
    • Condit Chizlit

      ... along with most commenters here.

      August 3, 2014 at 8:48 am | Reply
    • Ryan

      Sanjay is a clown. How about CNN interviews someone from the CDC with actual infectious disease credentials? There headquarters is in the same city as the CDC, and yet they choose to walk down to Sanjay's desk and ask him what he thinks. The credit this guy gets for being a corporate lap dog is astounding. His name was actually in the running several years back to be Surgeon General. Seriously?? I guy who spends 80% of his time writing medical puff pieces for CNN for the top medical advisory position in the US. Wow. Not sure who is worse Sanjay or Doctor Oz. I think at least Oz knows that he is full of crap.

      August 3, 2014 at 9:27 am | Reply
  11. Guest1

    Obama has brought it to the US.

    August 3, 2014 at 8:22 am | Reply
    • Frank Thomas

      Should send IT and Obama back where they came from.

      August 3, 2014 at 8:32 am | Reply
      • zee

        that is just racist

        August 3, 2014 at 9:09 am |
      • jen

        that was very racist.

        August 3, 2014 at 9:42 am |
      • Alan

        Hawaii?

        August 3, 2014 at 10:04 pm |
  12. Joey Isotta-Fraschini©

    As I hinted in a post above, one strong reason for bringing an infected person to the USA was profit for the pharmaceutical industry.
    A less selfish reason might have been to study the virus in a patient (and friends), but that could have been accomplished Over There.

    August 3, 2014 at 8:23 am | Reply
    • ceemonster3

      Nyet. The CDC does not have facilities for research and study over there, let alone state-of-the-art facilities. They could have flown support-care equipment and medicines over there to care for these folks, yes. But they can't effectively marshal all forces to study it over there. Additionally, if they get lucky and find a possible treatment, they need to be where they can produce it fast.

      August 3, 2014 at 9:02 am | Reply
  13. Frank Thomas

    Take 2 aspirin and call me in the morning. On second thought, don't call me, I'll call you.

    August 3, 2014 at 8:29 am | Reply
  14. letdoc

    How about seal our southern border as you could potentially imagine an individual infected with ebola flying south of the border and crossing illegally. We dont know who is coming in and what they have. It sounds crazy until it happens. Im sure 9/11 sounded unbelievable until it wasnt.

    August 3, 2014 at 8:30 am | Reply
    • Condit Chizlit

      9/11 still sounds unbelievable according to the NIST and 9/11 Commission reports...

      August 3, 2014 at 8:51 am | Reply
  15. Rural biz help

    I think these are some of the least thought through comments I have ever read on CNN. It horrifies me that a trained Nurse used the phrase "through out" as "Thru out"

    August 3, 2014 at 8:30 am | Reply
    • Yerp

      Derrrp. The word is "throughout."

      Yet another grammar Nazi destroyed.

      August 3, 2014 at 9:39 am | Reply
    • Nan

      FYI: throughout.

      August 3, 2014 at 9:41 am | Reply
    • medrx

      Talk about creating drama! I too am a trained nurse and I've used slang and made spelling errors, get over yourself. Talk about nitpicking, would you care about a nurses grammar that much if you were choking and they were alone with you? I think not. Horrified? Seriously? Crackpot. Also making a huge ordeal about this is rediculous. The public sees that a patient with ebola is coming home to US soil and it causes mass panic. So stupid. Why is noone panicing like hep or HIV transmission? The whole thing is drumming unnecessary drama as seen here.

      August 3, 2014 at 10:03 am | Reply
      • Paul

        Your spelling and grammar are below the level of a sixth grade student. How in God's name did you become a nurse?

        August 4, 2014 at 12:31 am |
  16. Wizard1234

    Normally I would not think that Sanjay was doing a "Chicken Little."

    However, anytime a person of his stature says, "Here is a bad thing (A. B and C)" without offering a solution "We should do this (1, 2 and 3)," then they are in fact running about shouting that the sky is falling.

    August 3, 2014 at 8:32 am | Reply
  17. Dan

    I love my country,but we are so arrogant(maybe why the US is despised by so many people around the world??) We bring this horrible virus to our country thinking we can contain it and cure this doctor–ARROGANT!! This may be the dumbest move I have seen in my life!!

    August 3, 2014 at 8:34 am | Reply
  18. fumes

    Potheads famously DO NOT GET VIRAL INFECTIONS. No flu, no pneumonia, not even the common cold. Jus' sayin'

    August 3, 2014 at 8:39 am | Reply
  19. Marty

    Guess we might as well take a vote and make Sanjay Gupta our Surgeon General since our recent ones have shown no inclination to do their job and address the public on health issues.

    August 3, 2014 at 8:40 am | Reply
  20. Bart Fargo

    "But I think it's not going to turn into lots of mini outbreaks.​"

    Way to bury the lede. This is absolute, irresponsible fearmongering by CNN, and if Gupta had any say in how this information was presented he ought to be ashamed of himself.

    August 3, 2014 at 8:44 am | Reply
  21. dekottmedia

    Reblogged this on dekottmedia's Blog.

    August 3, 2014 at 8:45 am | Reply
  22. aspblom

    " But I think it's not going to turn into lots of mini outbreaks.​"

    August 3, 2014 at 8:47 am | Reply
  23. Howard

    Based on what Dr. Gupta has said, I'd say that, in the face of a spreading Ebola epidemic, the highest risk job in the world has to be a flight attendant, followed by gate personnel, followed by airport employees in general.

    August 3, 2014 at 8:50 am | Reply
  24. jack boot

    Obama and sanjay will make sure it spreads all over the planet.

    August 3, 2014 at 9:05 am | Reply
    • Gary

      This doc got Ebola! Where was his bio suit? Perhaps we maybe living in the movie 11monkeys!

      August 3, 2014 at 9:29 am | Reply
  25. James Wilson, MD

    With respect to Dr Gupta, he is not an expert in Ebola.

    While it continues to be possible for more translocation to occur with Ebola, and the probabilities of translocation increase with each urban area involved, it is UNLIKELY to see a global phenomenon with this agent.

    Keeping a measured perspective with this situation is needed. This input is provided by someone who has 15 years of operational experience in this space.

    James M Wilson V, MD FAAP
    Director
    National Infectious Disease Forecast Center

    August 3, 2014 at 9:15 am | Reply
    • Idon'tknowsometimes

      I have to ask given not many experts are speaking to the matter. When the CDC page days the virus can be spread by a symptomatic person by respiratory secretions does that mean when someone cough and sneezes you can be infected by the droplets?

      August 3, 2014 at 9:19 am | Reply
      • Linda S

        Yes. It is a bodily fluid transmission. Not airborne.

        August 3, 2014 at 9:31 am |
    • Dan

      If this patient's treatment is to be simply monitored would be one thing, but there will be blood tests to assess his conditions. These blood tests will open potential for exposure to phlebotomists, laboratorians, and many others. How long does this virus remain viable outside the human body? This containment you speak of is rubbish!

      August 3, 2014 at 11:58 am | Reply
  26. Idon'tknowsometimes

    Wasn't it just the other day Dr. Gupta was saying that the chance of Ebola reaching the US was low? Funny how that changed after the infected American Dr reaches the US? I really don't think these "specialists" have a clue with what they are dealing with.

    August 3, 2014 at 9:15 am | Reply
    • James Wilson, MD

      As someone who was involved with trying to find options for medivac for Dr Brantley, you may then blame people like me. People who have confidence in this country's specialized containment care facilities.

      We were correct in our assessment of H1N1 when we provide the warning CDC and PAHO, we were correct in forecasting the return of Haiti's cholera to Mexico, and we were correct in forecasting the incredible spread of Chikungunya. Among several hundred other infectious diseases worldwide. And we have been correct thus far in our assessments of this situation.

      Combat anxiety and distrust of the government with logic and education. And steer clear of Hollywood hype.

      James M Wilson V, MD FAAP
      Director
      National Infectious Disease Forecast Center

      August 3, 2014 at 9:34 am | Reply
      • danieljohndoyle

        Dr. Wilson, given the extreme importance of this comment, would you be able to elaborate on the issue of estimating the probability of various translocation scenarios? Are there any technical reports that you can refer us to?

        August 3, 2014 at 9:40 am |
      • James Wilson, MD

        Re: question of how we assess translocation potential:

        1. First is a review of all available air traffic statistics.
        2. Then a review of cultural diaspora statistics within the recipient country (i.e. the US).
        3. Then a review of ground information regarding the airport screening protocols and reliability of the quarantine contracts.
        4. Then a review of potential for terrestrial and marine based migration routes.
        5. ... In context with the current signature pattern of the epidemic sites, with an eye towards indicators of containment, security, and so on.

        In other words, there are highly trained professionals from several agencies and private industry firms examining this problem. And all that is asked is for people to take a step back from the hype and examine logic and knowledge from people who do this for a living.

        James M Wilson V, MD FAAP
        Director
        National Infectious Disease Forecast Center

        August 3, 2014 at 1:26 pm |
    • Tigerflower

      Rubbish. They have a very good idea what they're dealing with, which is why we're seeing all the precautions. I'm not sure how you can be so confused as to suggest that Gupta has changed his projections for the disease. Do you not get that there's a big difference between bringing patients here under a controlled transfer as opposed to a full blown breakout? In one case he's trying to speak rationally about the possibility pandemic, in the other he's also acknowledging that the disease will travel given lack of a quarantine.

      August 3, 2014 at 9:41 am | Reply
  27. Joeseph Eclaire

    This we know Doc. Isn't that the plan.
    Your nothing but a paid pimp. I wonder if Obamacare will cover they soon to be controllable medicines.

    Yeah, they are already lined up at the patent office in D.C.

    August 3, 2014 at 9:29 am | Reply
  28. Kyle F

    Oh now he can predict the future. I'm done.

    August 3, 2014 at 9:32 am | Reply
  29. Tigerflower

    Bringing patients here isn't as dumb as it first sounds. What I'm hearing is that medical experts are expecting breakouts eventually. By having a limited number of patients here now, in a controlled setting, it allows the teams to gain first hand experience and try medical technology that may not have been available under the conditions in West Africa.

    August 3, 2014 at 9:32 am | Reply
    • Joeseph Eclaire

      That is until it mysteriously gets out of that controlled environment right.
      And we know it will.

      It's the nature of the game and incompetence.

      August 3, 2014 at 9:37 am | Reply
  30. Dirty Harry

    Had to happen sometime and while Ebola cases are low, it cropping up in different parts of that continent is very disturbing. All these viruses, not just Ebola, seem to be spreading along with the typical flu

    August 3, 2014 at 9:50 am | Reply
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