Experts Weigh In On Ebola Epidemic, Treatment, Prevention, And Social Effects

The New England Journal of Medicine noted: “Four brief NEJM perspectives examine the current Ebola epidemic, which is the largest and longest-lived on record.”

“One of the three clinically oriented contributions describes the World Health Organization’s declaration of a public health emergency and its implications.”

“Another offers information on drugs that have shown activity against the virus; it describes the problem (and ethics) of collecting efficacy data on these treatments mid-epidemic.”

“A CDC contribution, which includes the agency’s director among its authors, reiterates three key preventive measures: “meticulous” infection control, community education and support, and avoiding contact with potential viral reservoirs like bats and bush meat.”

“In the fourth perspective, WHO director-general Margaret Chan emphasizes the social roots of the epidemic. Poverty had already crippled the health systems of the affected African countries before Ebola struck, and the virus has only made things worse. Traditional burial practices in Guinea were linked to almost two thirds of the cases there.”

“Separately, the CDC released updated guidance on Ebola infection control in hospitals, as well as a poster detailing the sequence in which personal protective equipment should be put on and taken off. The scale of the work ahead became apparent amid reports on Wednesday of confrontations between soldiers and residents in a newly quarantined neighborhood in Liberia’s capital.”


NEJM essay on WHO declaration (Free)

NEJM essay on possible treatments (Free)

NEJM essay by CDC officials (Free)

NEJM essay by WHO director-general (Free)

CDC poster explaining sequence for putting on and taking off personal protective equipment (Free PDF)

CDC interim guidance for environmental infection control in hospitals (Free)

New York Times story on Liberia (Free)

Click here to read the full NEJM note “Experts Weigh in on Ebola Epidemic, Treatment, Prevention, and Social Effects” by Joe Elia.


Doctor, Did You Wash Your Hands? ™ provides information to consumers on understanding, managing and navigating health care options.

Jonathan M. Metsch, Dr.P.H., is Clinical Professor, Preventive Medicine, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai; and Adjunct Professor, Baruch College ( C.U.N.Y.), Rutgers School of Public Health, and Rutgers School of Public Affairs and Administration.

This blog shares general information about understanding and navigating the health care system. For specific medical advice about your own problems, issues and options talk to your personal physician.

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