Oct 14, 2014 11:34 PM EDT
Amidst the horrific scene of West Africa's current Ebola epidemic, international health organizations are asking that the world ban together against the common viral enemy. And while many celebrities are not able to be on the ground, aiding in the medical treatment of those afflicted with the disease, others are using their social media presence to make an impact on the face of the global effort.
This morning, the king of social media himself, Facebook Founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife announced their plans to aid in medical efforts by donating $25 million to the Centers for Disease Control Foundation. The news arrived this morning as the World Health Organization (WHO) announced that issues with containment and assessment of the Ebola virus' impact may lead to a 1,000% increase in infections (10,000 cases a week) by as early as this December.
"There's a lot of actors on the ground, and an awful lot of them are working with Ebola for the first time" Assistant Director General, Dr. Bruce Aylward of the WHO says. "The challenge right now is making sure all of that adds up to the kind of plan to stop this disease."
Noting the impact this lethal virus is having on the entire world, Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan, who herself is a pediatric medical resident and recent graduate of the UCSF medical school, decided to publically acknowledge their donation and encourage their Facebook "friends" to do the same.
"Priscilla and I are donating $25 million to the Centers for Disease Control Foundation to help fight Ebola" Zuckerberg said in a statement released on Facebook this morning. "The Ebola epidemic is at a critical turning point. We need to get Ebola under control in the near term so that it doesn't spread further and become a long-term global health crisis that we end up fighting for decades at large scale, like HIV or polio."
While Zuckerberg and Chan had many options to choose from when decided to aid in the efforts, the pair elected to opt for the United States' task force against Ebola whose research is not only providing aid on the frontline, but also hope for a cure. Though the non-profit organization has not disclosed how the funds will be allocated in the fight against the Ebola outbreak, Zuckerberg and Chan hope that their donation will have a large impact in West Africa by containing the virus.
"We believe our grant is the quickest way to empower the CDC and the experts in this field" Zuckerberg said. "Grants like this directly help the frontline responders in their heroic work."
"We are hopeful this will help save lives, and get this outbreak under control."
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