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. John R. Buckley

    The reason why Ebola will spread is for one simple fact, people are stupid. The reality is that:
    1. A person who is sick will attempt to fly home an conceal he/she has it. Thus infecting everyone they come into contact with.
    2. Many places lack the ability to deal with the situation.
    3. Frequent Fliers will transmit the disease everywhere they fly.

    We just can't help ourselves as a society, because selfishness and ignorance is the predominate trait of our culture. Truth is hard to swallow, but, there it is.

    August 3, 2014 at 12:48 pm | Reply
    • kottmyer

      A person who is sick with ebolavirus isn't going to be in any shape to "fly home" or do anything, but collapse.

      And if they're not sick yet, they're not contagious.

      When they do get sick, only those messing around with their urine, feces, and vomit are the only ones at risk - not exactly the stuff of disaster movies.

      August 3, 2014 at 12:53 pm | Reply
    • yourguy

      I think you all got case of the crazies. Lmfao the gov and the illuminati got you in fear. They tell us about the small pox fck up in that lab that wasnt certified to handle it. Then a couple wks later they ship twp Ebola patients here to the us lol..they got u all in fear now boosting the economy cuz ur out buying things you don't need. Wake-up you sheep. Wake-up!!!!

      August 3, 2014 at 1:46 pm | Reply
  2. Bob

    I love the way doctors and others are saying that it is really unlikely anyone can get Ebola without direct contact. But then comes the headlines Ebola spreading like wildfire and that it is going to spread worldwide for sure. Ok. anyone else see some BS here? They seem to want it both ways!

    August 3, 2014 at 12:50 pm | Reply
    • kottmyer

      Totally for page views.

      It's spreading like crazy in Sierra Leone and Liberia because the people there are hiding their sick relatives, thinking that ebola is a big government conspiracy, and that the government is making their loved ones sick (sound familiar?) However, the disease is dying out in Guinea.

      They stopped and quarantined the one guy who made it to Nigeria, because he was too sick to travel on. Governments all over the world on on to this, and it will be old news by the end of the year.

      August 3, 2014 at 1:01 pm | Reply
  3. Sky is Falling!!!!!

    Hysteria. The people that are afraid realize that we've been housing Ebola at the CDC for years right? How about the thousands of other potentially dangerous viruses? You want to be concerned? Be concerned that it's the CDC handling this. They are complete morons.

    August 3, 2014 at 12:55 pm | Reply
    • drewbs

      I am so speechless sometimes at the lack of reasoning skills. Yes, it has been here but researching a virus sample in a lab is an entirely different scenario than doing research on a living breathing human host. It changes everything about how the protocols worked and how the samples are processed. It is still doable with the facilities in place but a petri dish and processed samples (which is all they have experience with) do not bleed out, vomit, sweat, etc... It is perfectly reasonable to be alarmed. The contact with the patient will not be just highly trained doctors but the tired nurse or lab tech on 14 hour day! We are all human and make mistakes.

      August 3, 2014 at 1:26 pm | Reply
      • drewbs

        By the way, no one has said Carl in their responses that they should not be getting help at all. Get that in your head before you go on attacking people that have every right to be alarmed more so at the possibilities and the fact we are placing so much faith in gov facility that just lost Anthrax and exposed their own workers to by improper handling. No one was hurt but the close call if it is frightening when YOU CONSIDER WE HAVE A TREATMENT FOR IT!!! This we do not. Furthermore, there is nothing wrong with us questioning why risk everyone by bringing them to a DENSELY POPULATED AREA for the same treatment they could have received at more manageable, less populated areas in several areas throughout the US, even GA in case a mistake happens!!!

        We need the research and fast, that most logical people agree on. It will spread, that is not in doubt...but this was an unnecessary risk to add to whats already going on. If for no other reason than the absolute panic that you are going to see in the Atlanta citizens when cases start being reported in the other countries as well as here. We will see the repercussions of how this got out of control in Africa. The death of Mr Sawyer, allowed on an international, connecting flight, finally woke everyone up to the reality of it. That situation was so mishandled it is why you are seeing the international community scramble getting prepared.

        August 3, 2014 at 1:40 pm |
      • Martell

        Doctors can screw up as well as anyone else. I've seen that happen more then once.

        August 3, 2014 at 1:53 pm |
    • bruce

      If it can't be spread thru the air, how did the good Dr. Contract. Ebola? and if they( the CDC) do not know ....what makes them think it is a good idea to transport patients here! I'm not sure what your level of confidence in gov. Employees is . I kind of agree with this fella they are idiots.

      August 3, 2014 at 5:09 pm | Reply
      • Amanda

        the good doctor and nurse were working in less than ideal conditions for disinfecting and isolation... West Africa does not have the same standard of medical care that the US has. It is believed that they contracted it from another infected worker in the decontamination section where they were working. It could have been a very simple act that transmitted it. They have explained this in multiple articles previously published...

        August 7, 2014 at 12:16 pm |
  4. Jim

    Call it Globola

    August 3, 2014 at 12:55 pm | Reply
  5. Mickey Mouse

    When this bug gets loose who is going to be liable? They best have trillion upon trillions of dollars to pay stupid tax to each and every citizen for attempting mass murder.

    August 3, 2014 at 12:59 pm | Reply
  6. Tom

    Bringing the infected Doctors home to the USA was a dumb idea. It will get out no matter the precautions taken. Don't forget the doctors were taking precautions in Africa but they still got it. I don't know who Ok'd bringing them home, but something tells me the decision was made at the highest level.

    August 3, 2014 at 1:02 pm | Reply
    • carl

      If it were you, wouldn't you want to come home? He it's an American just like me and you. We take care of our own.....most of the time.

      August 3, 2014 at 1:14 pm | Reply
      • Jennifer

        If it were me, I'd stay there instead of risking others lives. I made the choice to go help. Why bother going to help others just to come back and kill some more?

        August 3, 2014 at 1:47 pm |
      • snowboarder

        Ignore Jennifer. She's clueless, a troll, or both. Kill some more? Yeah, that's what Brantly is doing. Coming home to "kill some more" since he "killed" so many in his work trying to save lives.

        August 3, 2014 at 2:48 pm |
      • Dogooders fault

        The pilot who flew them back has now tested positive. Great... here we go!


        August 3, 2014 at 3:48 pm |
      • Mr troll

        Love it when you guys label someone aTroll, just because they have a different opinion to you... Pathetic really. Guess I will be a troll, shill or whatever now!

        August 3, 2014 at 4:13 pm |
  7. carl

    Shame on everyone that blasts these doctors coming home to the USA to get the help needed. I don't see any of you over there helping these people. Look at it this way – if the doctor that can help these people died, will you step in and take his/her place? I didn't think so. That is why they came home, not just because they are American, but because they need to get better to help save a thousand more.

    August 3, 2014 at 1:17 pm | Reply
    • Dogooders fault

      They will not be going back to Africa after they 'get better.' Shame on you.

      The only way to help these people is with lead poisoning. I'm thinking 44 caliber or greater

      August 3, 2014 at 3:53 pm | Reply
  8. karl hafner

    The spread of ebola most likely did not happen during patient contact it most likely happened during decotamination or getting out of the safety suit. You are well protected in the suit but it must be handled to get out of. The smallest of errors could lead to contact with the virus.

    August 3, 2014 at 1:35 pm | Reply
  9. chri§§y

    Agree @ carl! And it looks like mission accomplished for the powers that be @ concern american. Reminds me of the fear instilled on americans when the government wanted to spend outrageous amounts of money on homeland security! Only this time its because of the "current refuge crisis" of the 1000s of children comming across our border! And its working again! Most of you think these kids are going to kill you off. Americans are nothing if not predictable! Smh

    August 3, 2014 at 1:56 pm | Reply
    • drewbs

      It is the mindless masses , that believe all they are told and dismiss logic and trust that these doctors are some sort of gods and mistakes dont happen. They needed to be treated, the virus needs to be should have been done in a less populated area of GA or anywhere in the US.
      If you do not have a real concern of caution, you either have no understanding of the basic process of science and research, this disease, whats involved in Bio level 4 containment and you are only adding to the mindset of the doctors that think they are infallible and this is no big deal. This dismissive and lack of respect for our human limits will always be our downfall. Yes, I would agree you about predictable, trying to reason logically with most of you certainly has taught me that in the last few days. I thought by explaining the risks involved that people would fear it less but understand that this is serious and support everyone doing there jobs in this with the upmost diligence. To not dismiss it and treat this like it is no bid deal....decontamination procedures are always where these errors is not your highly trained doctors and nurses that will be sterilizing and doing the more menial aspects of this...i will provide a link even though I am wasting my breathe...this happens all the time and as before with a much deadlier bacteria (not virus) over improperly sterilized piece of equipment.

      August 3, 2014 at 2:16 pm | Reply
  10. Bambay

    Dr. Sanjay Gupta is write about his outline of the difficulties that face the fight against Ebola, that there are roads, trains and plains that can facilitate easy travel within villages, towns and International travel. However, it is also important to understand that though these developments in roads and air travel that make travel easy and quick have been achieved and might cause the quick and easy sprerad of the virus yet, it is also important to note that these facilities make it easier for people to travel to centers, set for treatment of the disease.
    As one who was born and raised in Africa, I will tell you firsthand that these accessibilities are blessings. As doctors have reported time and again, that illnesses as less catastrophic as toothaches, use to kill Africans due to the lack of these facilities because it became difficult for those infected to reach places where clinics where available, causing abscess to grow. Some even died before they got to these centers.
    Also, it is important to note that the leaders of the said countries are doing effective job in cooperating with each other to set-up modalities that can enhance the education and cooperation of their citizens to ensure that people become educated to bemuse the fear that made the fight against Ebola difficult to in the 1970's and 1980's when the outbreak first affected Congo and Sudan. Same fears were to raise their ugly heads in these areas but in Sierra Leone for instance, President Koroma has declared a state of Emergency, has involved the Military and the Police to help search homes, help the education of the people to take proactive measures to ensure the disease is treated seriously, and the preventive measures are taken seriously.
    As I speak, they are holding meeting at Guinea, Conakry to hang-heads with their Mano River Counterparts to formulate mechanisms that should expedite effective fight against the disease.
    Furthermore, the said leaders and their International Partners who made technology a priority in these areas, were visionaries who foresaw a day like today when this Ebola outbreak might occur. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Clinton Initiatives and other Non-governmental organizations around the world that invested in Technology, telephone services will see their efforts bear fruit because now a person from the cities can easily call their families in the villages and explain to them what to do and what is happening with regards to the Ebola outbreak.
    For those who are calling for the closure of borders, please understand that Ebola and Terrorism are one and the same. They both desire to see lives lost. When these nations signed agreements with the nations whose interest were terrorists' target, these countries risked everything to ensure that no terror shells will exist in their countries.
    The fear that Ebola will reach the American soil cannot be underestimated. However, I can assure you that this is not the first time Ebola has struck. As I mentioned earlier, it hit in Sudan and Congo, Zaire to name a few but the impact on the U.S. soil was 0.000000000000000000000000000001 percentile if even that. That was in the 70's when technology was not as advanced as it is today.
    Finally, be encouraged that according to NIH and other Scientists, a vaccine has been developed that has proven positive to cure animals with the Ebola disease and will be doing a trial test on humans as early as September.

    August 3, 2014 at 2:20 pm | Reply
    • Dogooders fault

      Good info. But a tad hugely optimistic.

      Please tell your people to quit screwing monleys. We already have AIDS

      August 3, 2014 at 3:59 pm | Reply
      • MK Davies

        Your comments have been reported as being abusive in nature. Go troll somewhere else.

        August 3, 2014 at 5:54 pm |
    • Ben Dover

      "...but the impact on the U.S. soil was 0.000000000000000000000000000001 percentile if even that."

      You clearly have no idea what you are writing. You mean percent, not "percentile" (which is something else). Your sentence makes no sense, and your math makes even less sense. You use 30 zeroes. If you had used 10 zeroes, that would be 1 in 10 billion (less than one person in the world). If you multiply the world's population with itself, and then once more, and take one over that number, than your number is still smaller. Is it fun to make up a number that you don't understand?

      August 3, 2014 at 6:10 pm | Reply
  11. Carl

    Alright thats it, I'm moving to Greenland!

    August 3, 2014 at 2:25 pm | Reply
    • Dogooders fault

      Government of Greenland reports 1st case of Ebola


      August 3, 2014 at 3:51 pm | Reply
      • MK Davies

        The URLs you keep posting are invalid, and nothing on search engines verifies your claims. Please stop posting false information.

        August 3, 2014 at 5:52 pm |
  12. The Walking Dead ?

    Earth will soon be The Real – The Walking Dead ????

    August 3, 2014 at 2:27 pm | Reply
  13. chri§§y

    Omg! The walking dead? Seriously? Ya know you just need to use some common sense! Make sure you diligently practise personal hygene and use disinfectant when in public on grocery cart handles, etc! No need for elaborate fear frenzies!

    August 3, 2014 at 3:18 pm | Reply
  14. Ben Dover

    We have long known that it's just a question of time before some microscopic "bug" kills off a substantial portion of humanity. The last time that happen was 1918-1920 when 3-6% of the global population was killed off by the "Spanish flu". Back in 1346–53, as much as 17-22% of the global population was killed off by the Black Death (in Europe 30–60%). Imagine if Ebola somehow mutate such that it can spread via the air... That may be what's needed for Earth to have the stress of human exploitation of its resources down to a more comfortable level. As "sick" as that may sound, I welcome such pruning of humanity, improving us and our living condition in the long run. There will always be people who will survive – probably the great majority – and whatever genetic markers those individuals carry will then take a more dominant position in the human genome. That' just human evolution at work. Despite the horrible tragedies, it is awesome, and it's nature. We can try to stop it, but the universe always trumps us. We are a product of it, and it's naive to think that we can control every aspect of it – and it's actually good that we cannot.

    August 3, 2014 at 3:20 pm | Reply
    • Dogooders fault

      Couldn't agree more.

      We are overpopulated. We've resisted a mass die off through antibiotics, peace, and agricultural advances. So it took a little longer for the super bug to overcome all this.

      Expect 40-60% losses. Especially in urban settings. Places with high birth rates and low death rates especially. And honestly it's what NEEDS to happen. Sorry

      August 3, 2014 at 3:57 pm | Reply
  15. chri§§y

    And you might wanta consider the sources when these public safety announcements are made...particularly when they dont know the facts even. Ask yourself who has the most to gain by making people afraid to live? Who will be profiting enormously now that they have you all thinking your next breath will be your last? Probably the very ones who created this virus to begin with! As many other virus's weve been subjected to over the years! Big Pharma!

    August 3, 2014 at 3:25 pm | Reply
  16. hdrkid

    This is so scary.

    August 3, 2014 at 3:31 pm | Reply
  17. dman

    My sister,my brother and I have been debating the the Ebola issue all morning. These are Americans. Yes they deserve the best treatment possible. The million dollar question is why bring them in the country. My thought was to take our sick Americans to Qtmo where extreme security is already in place. Everything needed to treat our people can be transported there. While this action would not completely eliminate the threat it would severely negate it to the general population. My sister noted that there are hundreds of Americans living on or near the base. "Would I as commander quarantine the hundreds or thousands of soldiers and other personnel in and around Qtmo indefinitely?" My answer, after a long pause,was yes I would. A thousand lives for three hundred million,yes I would. And this from a father who has a son serving our country in the U.S. Army.

    August 3, 2014 at 3:33 pm | Reply
    • Dogooders fault

      They do not 'deserve' anything more than the dirt bags they go there to save. Two lives aren't worth 300 million. Or 2 more

      August 3, 2014 at 3:45 pm | Reply
  18. chri§§y

    I believe people should be somewhat cautious but that doesnt mean you need be a raving lunatic! And no chicken little, the sky is NOT falling!

    August 3, 2014 at 3:34 pm | Reply
  19. chri§§y

    Yes @ dman that would seem like the responsible thing to do. But...the CDC has not acted responsibly lately!

    August 3, 2014 at 3:39 pm | Reply
  20. Dogooders fault

    I blame these doctors who can't help their American brethren but have to trot to dangerous places to help those that refuse to help themselves. To what, spread the word of christ?

    Same morons who get kidnapped, murdered, and make it our problem. Let them die there. They f'ed up. No other way they got this disease short of banging monkeys.

    To these missionary types who screw us (pun intended): ask your god to save you. It ain't our problem.

    August 3, 2014 at 3:42 pm | Reply
  21. chri§§y

    Hmm troll heaven here again! Sundays are primetime for you isnt it?

    August 3, 2014 at 3:49 pm | Reply
  22. chri§§y

    You people are ridiculous you know that! The only way you can contact Ebola is if you come in direct contact with an infected persons blood, vomit or feces! Quit trying to scare people!!!!

    August 3, 2014 at 4:12 pm | Reply
  23. John

    Anyone consider we have a cure for ebola. Am outbreak in the US will make a lot of money. Our politicians are idiots but know how to make money for their friends

    August 3, 2014 at 4:22 pm | Reply
  24. chri§§y

    Thank you @ John, that was exactly my point! Lol @ mr not so smart troll...its easy to spot you when you hijack someones name and FORGET what color it shows up under depending on the type of device they use! Ie: Dogooders Fault~posts at 3:42 and 3:45!

    August 3, 2014 at 4:32 pm | Reply
  25. chri§§y

    That and only YOU woulda picked up on my post earlier!

    August 3, 2014 at 4:34 pm | Reply
  26. Jesse

    NYC, LA, Chicago will be horribly devastated as is other major urban areas where the majority of dependent people live.

    August 3, 2014 at 4:56 pm | Reply
  27. dclelandtradelaw

    The arrogance of physicians. Why would you being a patient back unless you believe you can control it. This instance may not be catastrophic but it paves the way for worse possible diseases. We were able to contain the Ebola right?

    August 3, 2014 at 4:57 pm | Reply
  28. Jim

    Appreciate all that Sanjay Gupta is doing, but as a fellow surgeon, I only have one question for him: What exactly makes him such an expert on ebola? As a neurosurgeon, he may think that he knows a lot, but in reality, CNN and its audience would be better served if they featured an actual infectious disease expert. Otherwise, talking heads are abound in today's media that offer nothing new or instructive.

    August 3, 2014 at 4:58 pm | Reply
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