The world is more galvanized to tackle this Ebola outbreak, FDA chief says

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Health officials are in a different position to respond to the current Ebola outbreak than they were during the last one, U.S. Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb told CNBC’s “Squawk Box” on Tuesday.

Democratic Republic of Congo has 39 suspected, probable and confirmed cases of Ebola since April, including 19 deaths, the World Health Organization said Monday. The country agreed to allow the WHO to administer Merck‘s experimental Ebola vaccine.

An outbreak in West Africa in 2014 was the deadliest occurrence of the disease since it was discovered in 1976, killing more than 11,300 people, according to the WHO.

The FDA is monitoring this situation “very closely,” Gottlieb told CNBC, but health officials are “in a very different posture” than last time.

“I think the world is more galvanized, the WHO has stepped in very aggressively and very early,” he said. “We have therapeutics available right now, including the potential for a vaccine, so we’re differently armed than the last time we had a global crisis related to Ebola.”

“That said, this is a scary infection and we’re monitoring it very closely.”

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