The award-winning genetic researcher who helped tame the Ebola epidemic pairs up with a prize-winning journalist to tell the story of what happened and what would have to change to prevent the next outbreak from spiraling out of control. At the height of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, as thousands succumbed to the horrors of the disease, a prominent physician working in Sierra Leone, Sheikh Humarr Khan, became infected with the virus and died. As Pardis Sabeti and Lara Salahi show, much more could have been done within the medical community and among international actors not only to protect this renowned infectious disease expert but also to safeguard the well-being of his patients and others affected by this devastating disease. Written by an award-winning genetic researcher and a tenacious journalist, Outbreak Culture examines each phase of the epidemic-the largest and deadliest Ebola outbreak to date-and identifies the factors that kept key information from reaching physicians and complicated the response to the crisis. Drawing insights from clinical workers, data collectors, organizational experts, and public health researchers, Sabeti and Salahi expose a fractured system that failed to share knowledge of the virus and ensure containment. Secrecy, competition, and poor coordination plague nearly every major epidemic. Conducted with fearless scrutiny and unassailable expertise, this postmortem of the Ebola crisis seeks to change the culture of international responders, which has left us acutely unprepared for the next major outbreak.
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Harvard University Press