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Global Health and Infectious Diseases

Research links for news, current outbreaks, research and data, legislation, conferences, and primary sources focused on global health and organizations involved in addressing infectious diseases (also known as communicable diseases) such as Ebola, polio, MERS and influenza.

See more in Global; Health

Op-Ed

Five Myths About Ebola

Author: Laurie Garrett
Washingtonpost.com

The Ebola outbreak in West Africa has reportedly claimed close to 4,000 lives, and World Health Organization officials believe the true death toll could be far higher. An international response — including U.S. military personnel, as well as assistance from several other countries and nongovernmental organizations — has begun, yet global concern about the virus is spreading. How worried should we be? What are the risks? In the Washington Post, Laurie Garrett debunks five common myths about the current Ebola outbreak.

See more in Global; Public Health Threats and Pandemics

Op-Ed

Combating Ebola: What Can Africa Learn From China?

Author: Yanzhong Huang
China-US Focus

Yanzhong Huang notes the limited public health infrastructure in certain West African countries that are currently battling the spread of Ebola, which is a similar phenomenon to that which occurred in China during the 2003 SARS outbreak. Dr. Huang stresses the importance of foreign aid, particularly Chinese funds, to slow the spread of Ebola but points out that dependence on foreign aid is ultimately an unsustainable public health strategy.

See more in Africa (sub-Saharan); Public Health Threats and Pandemics

Op-Ed

Hollow Words and an Exponential Horror

Author: Laurie Garrett
Foreign Policy

Obama called the world to action against Ebola, but most countries are only paying lip service to the coming catastrophe. Laurie Garrett asks two questions about this newly announced war on Ebola in this article for ForeignPolicy.com: Will personnel and resources reach West Africa rapidly enough to dam the viral flow, and will the nations of the world learn from this disaster to build institutions and long-term targets that prevent pandemics in the future?

See more in Africa (sub-Saharan); Public Health Threats and Pandemics

Primary Sources

White House Fact Sheet: U.S. Response to the Ebola Epidemic in West Africa

President Barack Obama spoke with health experts at the Center for Disease Control on September 16, 2014, and the White House relased this fact sheet to outline U.S. actions to combat Ebola in West Africa and to contain its spread, including sending health workers, military forces, and medical supplies, funding vaccine development, and supporting public service announcements and education about the disease.

See more in Africa (sub-Saharan); Public Health Threats and Pandemics

Op-Ed

Can the US Army Degrade and Destroy Ebola?

Author: Laurie Garrett
Foreign Policy

As the Ebola epidemic in West Africa accelerates beyond the capacity to count its toll, an unprecedented escalation in global support is evident, led by U.S. President Barack Obama's call for U.S. military intervention. In this op-ed for Foreign Policy, Laurie Garrett argues, "Nothing short of heroic, record-breaking mobilization is necessary at this late stage in the epidemic."

See more in Africa (sub-Saharan); Public Health Threats and Pandemics

Primary Sources

African Union Decision on the Ebola Virus Disease Outbreak

In August 2014, African Union (AU) established the AU Support to Ebola Outbreak in West-Africa (ASEOWA) mission to send health personnel from Uganda, Rwanda, Democratic Republic of Congo, Nigeria, and Ethiopia to effected countries in West Africa. The African Union Executive Council released an official decision about AU reponse to the Ebola epidemic on September 9, 2014, and the first deployment of volunteers will go to Liberia, followed by a deployment to Sierra Leone.

See more in Africa (sub-Saharan); Public Health Threats and Pandemics