David Nabarro, who heads up the United Nations Ebola response, told The Sydney Morning Herald Ebola is the scariest disease he has ever encountered during his career leading international responses to epidemics and disasters.

“I can remember in Africa early on in HIV thinking ‘this is an unspeakably awful situation but it will not decimate the population’… though we still lost millions. I watch this and I think it is much nastier than HIV,” he said.

“I remember working on SARS and being scared, but this is much worse than SARS. It is just spreading faster and faster and faster,” he told the Australian newspaper.

He said Ebola is more threatening than ISIS or any terrorist organization.

“I would say Ebola is the greater global threat,” he told Bill Maher on HBO’s Real Time program. “I think ISIS certainly is a regional threat. I think its tentacles can reach out and create problems in our country and other countries, but it’s not an existential threat. Ebola can become an existential threat on a global level.”

Gen. Anthony Zinni, the former Centcom commander, agreed.

“I think ISIS certainly is a regional threat,” he told Bill Maher.

Nabarro said if the disease is not contained in Africa by January it will spread around the world. He said the international effort to contain Ebola has been so far insufficient.

On Tuesday a case of the deadly disease was confirmed in Dallas, Texas. The patient, who recently spent time in West Africa according to health officials, has been in isolation at the Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital since at least the 29th of this month.

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