Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg (pictured right) and his wife Priscilla Chan (pictured) announced Tuesday that they are donating $25 million to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to help in the ongoing efforts to combat the deadly Ebola virus that has killed more than 4,400 people in West Africa, according to USA Today.
Zuckerberg, who is worth a reported $32 billion, made his donation announcement via Facebook stating:
The Ebola epidemic is at a critical turning point. It has infected 8,400 people so far, but it is spreading very quickly and projections suggest it could infect 1 million people or more over the next several 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.
Grants like this directly help the frontline responders in their heroic work. These people are on the ground setting up care centers, training local staff, identifying Ebola cases and much more.
We are hopeful this will help save lives and get this outbreak under control.
Thus far, the CDC has deployed hundreds of medical and administrative personnel in Ebola-hit areas of Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia to battle the current outbreak.
If left untreated, Ebola has a 90 percent fatality rate. Currently there is no known treatment or vaccines but there are experimental medicines at hand that have proven to be helpful such as ZMapp.
Zuckerberg’s generous move came on the heels of a $9 million donation made last month by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen that will also be put toward the Ebola-fighting efforts. Bill Gates‘ foundation also pledged $50 million to fight the epidemic in West Africa.