ATLANTA (AP) — A top health official says he’s “encouraged” by a $5.4 billion spending plan proposed by Congress to fight Ebola.

The director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Tom Frieden, said Wednesday the United States must protect itself from the deadly virus by stopping an ongoing outbreak in West Africa.

Frieden says the spending would fund disease surveillance systems so officials learn of outbreaks before they spread widely.

He said the funding could also help train thousands of new disease workers and make sure at-risk countries have emergency response centers.

The tentative plan released by top lawmakers this week would earmark $2.5 billion to help African countries fight the disease. About $2.7 billion would go to the Health and Human Services Department. That budget agreement hasn’t been approved.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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