In December 2013, the West African Ebola epidemic began in a village near Guéckédou, a trading town in rural Guinea, but the disease wasn’t identified until February. The Guineans promptly notified health officials in neighboring countries, and in Liberia a team of researchers immediately set out for Lofa County, just over the border from Guéckédou, where a number of mysterious deaths had recently occurred. The Liberians at first assumed the deaths were caused by Lassa fever, a far less deadly disease with symptoms similar to Continue reading →
Physicians, scientists, and public health experts shared their experience from the front lines of fighting Ebola virus disease in this symposium session presented at the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (ASTMH) 63rd Annual Meeting in New Orleans. Speakers also discussed challenges and advances in methods of control and the promise of possible future solutions. Watch video here.
I’m trying not to make my commentary about the current Ebola outbreak about representation, but I’ve been a bit troubled by the political analyses accompanying the epidemiological and health systems ones. Specifically, I want to talk a bit about how Liberia’s and Sierra Leone’s civil wars have been deployed by these analysts to understand the response to the outbreak and how explaining existing tensions requires some deeper knowledge about local context. Laurie Garrett’s recent opinion piece on CNN and her appearance on Melissa Harris-Perry’s show are both examples of Continue reading →