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Obama: Ebola will be contained, defeated

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Posted at 3:27 PM, Oct 28, 2014
and last updated 2014-10-28 15:27:20-04

President Barack Obama said Liberia is starting to see progress in the nation's battle against Ebola. 

Stopping the threat in West Africa is the key to preventing Ebola from impacting people in the United States, he said in a short press conference Tuesday. 

"We know that the best way to protect Americans ultimately is to stop this outbreak at the source," Obama said. 

Obama thanked the health care workers for volunteering to help people in West Africa where Ebola has killed more than 4,900 people, according to the World Health Organization. So far, more than 10,000 people have been infected, according to the United Nations. 

Obama said the United States must have sensible solutions for those coming back from volunteering to help in West Africa while protecting the general public. 

"We don't want to discourage our health care workers from going to the front lines and dealing with this in an effective way," he said.  

The news conference came after news emerged that Dallas nurse Amber Vinson is free of Ebola. Vinson and fellow nurse Nina Pham are the only two Americans to become infected with Ebola in the United States. 

"America in the end is not defined by fear," Obama said. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released updated guidelines Monday. The guidelines including active monitoring as opposed to having people monitor themselves if they are at risk for becoming infected with Ebola. 

The guidelines came after some back-and-forth with New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie over how best to protect people from the spread of Ebola. 

Ebola is not an airborne disease and only is transmitted through direct contact with infected bodily fluids. Such direct contact includes being stuck with an infected needle, getting bodily fluids directly on the skin or handling bodily fluids without wearing personal protective equipment, according to the CDC.

The CDC reported people are not at risk if they are in contact with people who do not have symptoms of Ebola, even if the person later becomes sick. The CDC also stated people are no longer at risk after having traveled to a country impacted by Ebola outbreak more than 21 days ago.