yearThe Ebola outbreak could end up lasting for years and spreading to many more countries if it is not controlled quickly, a U.S. health official told a Senate hearing Tuesday, a day when aid agencies offered a stark assessment of prospects for stopping the epidemic. Lawmakers on Tuesday held their first hearing on Ebola, warning that the deadly outbreak of the disease is getting worse by the minute. The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee and the Appropriations Subcommittee on Health Spending held the joint hearing.  “If we do not act now to stop Ebola, we could be dealing with it for years to come,” said Beth Bell, director of the national center for emerging and zoonotic infectious diseases at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. At a Senate hearing on Ebola, she noted that 100 CDC staff are working in West Africa and hundreds more are assisting from Atlanta. “The best way to protect the U.S. is to stop the outbreak in West Africa.” Kent Brantly, a physician working for the missionary group Samaritan’s Purse, pleaded with senators to act quickly. Brantly was flown back to the USA for treatment and was cured. “We can’t afford to wait months or even weeks,” Brantly said. Full Story