Lessons from Ebola: Failure of the International Health Regulations

One year ago this month, the United States was fully in the throes of terror about Ebola.  Thomas Eric Duncan had arrived from Liberia in September 2014 and died in a Dallas hospital on October 8, 2014. News coverage from West Africa showed healthcare workers in full isolation garb, overflowing hospitals and bodies in the streets. Continuous transmission was ongoing in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia, with warnings of exponential increase. To date, over 28,000 cases have affected Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia with over 11,000 deaths; 36 cases have affected 7 other countries. History of the Outbreak Public health officials have determined that the outbreak probably began in Guinea in December 2013, when an 18 month-old in Meliandou, Guinea was infected, possibly by a bat.  The outbreak circulated within and outside that community, misdiagnosed as cholera and Lassa for about 3 months.  The previous outbreaks of Ebola had been […]

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