If ever there was a need for an to raise money and awareness for a cause, we can probably all agree the current ebola epidemic is it. The World Health Organization official is estimating that with the way the virus is currently spreading, there could soon be some 10, 000 new cases of Ebola a week in West Africa alone and the death rate in the current outbreak has risen to 70 percent. So where’s the “ice bucket challenge” for this?
While ebola hasn’t gotten the same celeb awareness campaign treatment as say, ALS which some 200 celebs helped raise over $10 million dollars to fund research for, some notables are stepping up to the plate in a major way. Take Mark Zuckerberg, of Facebook founding fame, for instance. The techie and his wife, Priscilla Chan, just announced today that they’re donating $25 million to the to the Centers for Disease Control Foundation to fight Ebola. Zuckerberg announced the donation on — where else? — his Facebook page where he noted that the disease has already infected 8,400 people so far with the potential to infect over 1 million in the next few months if not addressed.
“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. We believe our grant is the quickest way to empower the CDC and the experts in this field to prevent this outcome.”
U.S. health officials have said that the United States must “rethink” its approach to Ebola after a Dallas, TX nurse contracted the virus, becoming the first person to be contaminated on US soil and the second outside of Africa. The nurse, who was identified Monday as Nina Pham, contracted the disease while treating Thomas Eric Duncan, the first Ebola patient to die in the US. As of today Pham is said to be “feeling better” after receiving a transfusion of plasma from Kent Brantly, a Texas physician who survived the virus, according to reports.
President Obama called for “stepped-up” global efforts to combat the disease and some, like Zuckerberg, seem to be taking that charge personally. Last month tech billionaire Bill Gates announced his Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation would give $50million to the Ebola crisis — the largest donation he’s ever made to a humanitarian cause (how’s that for stepping up?). And there have been some names in Hollywood who are joining campaigns, and starting their own, to help. See more who are lifting their wallets and voices to stop the spread of the world’s rapidly spreading health problem in the gallery below: