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Ebola – an unexpected but preventable epidemic

The origins of the epidemic, as well as the local and international response, will be reviewed by one of the co-discoverers of the Ebola virus in 1976.

Since the first known outbreaks in 1976 in Zaire and South Sudan, over 25 outbreaks of Ebola virus infection have been reported. With the exception of a single patient in Côte d'Ivoire, until 2014 all outbreaks occurred in Central Africa, and affected rural areas or small towns. The epidemic in West Africa is unprecedented as it occurs for the first time in West Africa, affects entire nations, including major urban centres, and is lasting much longer than any other outbreak. Depending on the outbreak, the viral strain involved, the mode of transmission, and the level of supportive care provided, the case fatality varied between 30% and 100%. The modes of transmission have remained identical since 1976. Serological surveys in Central and West Africa suggest that isolated cases, and probably clinically mild cases may occur. Fruit eating bats are probably the virus reservoir, but the ecology of Ebola urgently needs further elucidation.
The presentation will review old and recent epidemiological findings, as well as control measures used and their impact, and progress in vaccine development and trials. Implications for local and global outbreak response will be discussed.


Professor Peter Piot | talks | www


Date and Time:

20 July 2015 at 6:30 pm


1 hour



Royal College of Physicians
11 St Andrews Place
020 70344901

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