AIDS to Ebola: Moving From Peril to Progress

October 15, 2014 2:11 PM

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The first person treated for Ebola in the United States died last week. He had travelled to America from Liberia after helping an infected individual in his country. Now, alarmingly, two health care workers who cared for this patient in a Texas hospital intensive care unit are the first people to be infected with the virus in America. Tragically, despite extensive emergency preparedness planning and reports issued in the aftermath of 9/11, the anthrax attacks, SARS, and H1N1 flu, the world is still unprepared to fight Ebola. It now appears that these reports never translated into the global actions needed for a surge response anywhere in the world when a new infectious disease killer emerges.

Pathogens don't respect borders. With 2 million people crossing national boundaries every day, the spread of an infectious disease is just a bus ride or plane trip away. Today, one in four deaths worldwide is due to an infectious illness. More than 40 new infectious diseases have emerged since 1972,...

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