Obama confident healthcare workers can 'snuff out' Ebola outbreak

Obama confident healthcare workers can 'snuff out' Ebola outbreak
Text size Aa Aa

US President Barack Obama has appeared alongside a doctor who recovered from Ebola to praise health workers going to West Africa.

Dr. Kent Brantly was the first American to catch the virus while treating Ebola victims in Liberia.

At a White House event, Obama urged the public to set aside fear and said medical professionals heading to West Africa were a ‘shining light’.

“It is because of the determination and skill and dedication and patriotism of folks like this that I am confident we will contain and ultimately snuff out this outbreak of Ebola,” Obama said, adding: “until we stop this outbreak in West Africa, we may continue to see individual cases in America in the weeks and months ahead.”

There is controversy over an automatic 21 day quarantine imposed by some US states on health workers returning after treating Ebola patients in West Africa.

A nurse from the state of Maine has said she will defy the restrictions as she feels perfectly healthy. Kaci Hickox worked with Doctors Without Borders in Sierra Leone and has so far tested negative to the virus.

Critics say these kinds of policies may discourage American doctors and nurses from volunteering to help.

Obama has said it is essential the US and other countries work to stop the Ebola outbreak at its source in Africa.