Evening Ebola Update, Sun 2/1: Nat Geo photos show why hard to eradicate EBOV/NY Times exposes other reasons for inaccurate projections   Leave a comment

2/1/15:  Super Bowl Sunday in U.S.A. (Would you pay several million dollar for a 30 sec TV advertisement?)

Dear Colleagues:

l.  National Geographic has Part 2 of their 4 part series on the effects of EBOV in West Africa on-line today.  Part 2 deals with the conflict between effective EBOV prevention and cultural practices in Sierra Leone and elsewhere.  Help from anthropologists was needed at the very beginning of the world’s response to the EBOV epidemic.  HCW lives were lost because local culture was not thought to be an important factor in the world’s response.  The National Geographic is well-known for its beautiful and heart-rending photographs.  As you view the photographs in this article, you will see why EBOV was so difficult to stop in Sierra Leone.  See the photographs at: http://news-beta.nationalgeographic.com/2015/01/150130-ebola-virus-outbreak-epidemic-sierra-leone-funerals/  There is a ‘Click Here’ at the end of Part 2 to view Part 1.

2.  NY Times has an Ed/Op today from Glennerster, et. al., a HCW in Sierra Leone who is also a researcher at MIT re: why the initial media reports on EBOV cases and future projections were inaccurate in Sierra Leone.  The authors’ explanation goes beyond the delay in getting aid to West Africa, reducing unsafe burial practices, and getting good contact tracing:

” Why were projections so bad? Partly because it is hard to collect good data in a crisis. But also, we believe, because dramatic headlines make for a better story. Agencies face asymmetric incentives: They are likely to face more criticism for underestimating rather than overestimating the impact of an emergency. As they scramble to raise funding for a crisis in a world grown weary of alarm calls, the temptation is to focus on the upper range of plausible estimates.”

See this ‘other side of the story’ at: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/31/opinion/how-bad-data-fed-the-ebola-epidemic.html

Have a restful Sunday,

RGL, MD

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Posted February 1, 2015 by levittrg in Ebola

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