Features

Diagnosing Failure: The Post-Hoc Report as an Administrative Epilogue

This article is part of the series:

The World Health Organization recently released its long-awaited final report on the organization’s response to the 2014 Ebola epidemic. The report opens by explaining that, however tragic the epidemic was, it also provides us with a chance to learn. “The sole consolation of the Ebola disaster is that it has galvanised the world into analyzing the failures and ensuring that …

Features

A forum on the Zika virus

Zika is in the air.

The beginning of 2016 has seen the world thrust into another global infectious disease crisis, fanned by the politics and fear of uncertainty and media speculation. Reports of the Zika virus outbreak emerged in late 2015, and have proliferated in early 2016. Most distressing have been the headlines, and associated images, possibly linking the virus …

Features

Race and the immuno-logics of Ebola response in West Africa

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On September 14, 2014, I woke up to the news that a fourth Sierra Leonean doctor, Dr. Olivet Buck, had died after having treated patients with Ebola. By then, there had been nearly 2,300 confirmed deaths, with about 150 of them being health care workers at the front line of the epidemic. All Ebola deaths are tragic, and many of …

Features

An Emerging Infectious Disease Perspective, Inter Alia

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As the saying goes, ‘there are no good models, only useful ones’. Tell a disease modeler that, and they might shake their head, interrupting to correct you – “only elegant ones”. And Hufnagel et al’s (2004) influential disease simulation, now ten years old, is quite elegant indeed. Published following the emergence and spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in

Features

Notes from Case Zero: Anthropology in the time of Ebola

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The lead for a story on the Ebola outbreak is, by now, familiar: on the 22nd of March, the Guinean Ministry of Health declared an outbreak of Ebola, the first ever in the region. The virus has since spread through the countryside and across its borders: west to Sierra Leone, south to Liberia, and most recently, north into Senegal. Cases …

Features

Bird Flu: The Circulation of Life and Death in a Postspecies World

At the end of 2009, linguists around the world collected words to characterize the first decade of the new millennium.  “Aporkalypse” appeared at the top of their list, describing a swine-inspired end of days ushered in by the threat of bird flu. Though playful, this term points to a growing recognition that animals –and their diseases –have determining …

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