Laurie Garrett

You Are Not Nearly Scared Enough About Ebola

Experimental drugs and airport screenings will do nothing to stop this plague. If Ebola hits Lagos, we're in real trouble.

Attention, World: You just don't get it.

You think there are magic bullets in some rich country's freezers that will instantly stop the relentless spread of the Ebola virus in West Africa? You think airport security guards in Los Angeles can look a traveler in the eyes and see infection, blocking that jet passenger's entry into La-la-land? You believe novelist Dan Brown's utterly absurd description of a World Health Organization that has a private C5-A military transport jet and disease SWAT team that can swoop into outbreaks, saving the world from contagion?

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It’s 10 o'Clock -- Do You Know Where Your Bubonic Plague Is?

Spilled smallpox, missing SARS, and rogue scientists with mutant H1N1. If you’re not scared, you should be.

In every one of the dozens of bioterrorism meetings I have attended over the last three decades, experts have stated unequivocally that the worst-case outbreak scenario would be smallpox in the hands of bad guys. And the most alarming other microbial possibilities that follow? Well, anthrax was always somewhere in the top five.

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Stay Away from Camel Milk and Egyptian Tomb Bats

A deadly SARS-like virus is sweeping the Middle East -- could it go global?

Anxiety runs deep in Saudi Arabia these days. A SARS-like disease that kills a third of those it infects is suddenly, and mysteriously, surging inside the kingdom. The country is struggling for answers -- and so are its neighbors.

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The Shots Heard Around the World

From global-health success story to nightmare: How a worldwide effort to eradicate polio went from Jonas Salk to Islamist terrorist.

New shots are jeopardizing humanity's battle to eradicate polio, and they don't include syringes or vaccines. Rather, they're the gunshots of Islamist terrorists.*

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Don't Kiss the Cadaver

Since 1976, Africa has reported over 2,000 cases of Ebola. Lessons were learned -- it's now up to Guinea to remember them.

Despite millions of dollars in research on vaccines and treatments, the deadly and frightening Ebola virus is best tackled today the same way it was during its first epidemic in 1976: With soap, clean water, protective gear, and quarantine. In fact, the care, treatment, and control of the virus is most effective when handled the way American physicians dealt with the 1918 influenza pandemic almost 100 years ago.

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