Michael Baker

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A Major Lesson from Ebola: Pandemics Are Strongly Driven by Inequality

After more than a year since the Ebola pandemic appeared in West Africa, Liberia – one of the worst hit countries – has been declared free of the virus. However, the initial global response was not encouraging. Despite having the knowledge and technology needed to contain the outbreak, help was initially sluggish and poorly effective. This situation illustrates one of the major lessons from the history of pandemics: that they are strongly influenced by health inequalities. Pandemics are epidemics that spread widely and cross borders. In many respects, the world is a safer place for those concerned about these emerging infectious diseases – advances in science, particularly molecular biology, information technology, and epidemiology give us unprecedented tools for understanding, tracking and managing emerging threats...

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