Publication

The Ebola Epidemic in West Africa: Proceedings of a Workshop


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Note: Proceedings contain the opinion of the presenters, but do NOT reflect the conclusions of the Health and Medicine Division or the National Academies. Learn more about the differences between Reports and Proceedings.

The most recent Ebola epidemic that began in late 2013 alerted the entire world to the gaps in infectious disease emergency preparedness and response. Building on previous outbreak workshops, the Forum on Microbial Threats convened this workshop to understand the recent developments in incidence, prevalence, and intervention strategies used to mitigate the disease in an increasingly interconnected world. Recognizing the opportunity to learn from the countless lessons of this epidemic, this workshop discussed the challenges to successful outbreak responses at the scientific, clinical, and global health levels. By the time of the workshop, almost 25,000 cases had been reported and more than 10,000 lives claimed by Ebola. Over the course of 2 days of presentations and discussions, workshop participants explored the epidemic from multiple perspectives, identified important questions about Ebola that remained unanswered, and sought to apply this understanding to the broad challenges posed by Ebola and other emerging pathogens, to prevent the international community from being taken by surprise once again in the face of these threats. This Proceedings of a Workshop summarizes the presentations and discussions of the meeting, and consists of the information presented, questions raised, and improvements recommended by individual workshop participants.