Laurie Garrett

How to Shut Down a Country and Kill a Disease

China’s response to SARS a decade ago was effective but brutal. Is there a better way to stop the spread of Ebola?

With every passing day the absence of a powerful international response to West Africa's Ebola epidemic allows the horror to grow, pushing the nightmares in Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea closer to the catastrophic worst-case scenario forecasted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: an estimated 1.4 million cumulative cases, with 980,000 dead, by Feb. 1, 2015 -- a prediction so dire as to be impossible to imagine. For Liberia and Sierra Leone, the dire augury translates to this: In the absence of radical measures to stop the virus's spread, the two countries could witness a combined 10,000 new cases per week by the time Americans sit down for Thanksgiving feasts, and they could see some 14 percent of their populations perish by Easter.

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How to Keep Ebola Out of Your Neighborhood

There’s a way to prevent the virus from spreading, but the answer isn’t travel bans.

Since Thomas Eric Duncan entered the United States from Liberia on Sept. 20 and was diagnosed with Ebola on Sept. 30, Americans have been wracked with fear and concern that any traveler coming from West Africa might bring invisible viruses to their communities. There have been calls on Capitol Hill for various forms of special treatment for those traveling from West Africa, ranging from fever checks at airports to such extreme measures as denying visa applications and forbidding the return of soldiers and volunteers now working in Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea.

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Obamacare May Hold the Key to Saving the U.S. from Ebola

The 43.3 million uninsured Americans are the country’s greatest vulnerability when it comes to stopping the world’s scariest virus.

Fear of Ebola has been climbing steadily in the United States since Tuesday's announcement that a Liberian traveler in Dallas, Thomas Eric Duncan, was diagnosed with the disease after having been in Texas for eight days. A month ago, a Harvard School of Public Health poll found that 39 percent of Americans thought an Ebola outbreak would come to the United States, and 26 percent felt concerned that they or a member of their family would get the disease. But things got concrete on Tuesday when news of the Dallas case was blamed in part for the 266-point plummet of the Dow Jones. And while concern over the case in understandable -- even, in some respects, warranted -- most of what people are reacting to is nothing to fret over. 

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Hollow Words and an Exponential Horror

Obama called the world to action against Ebola, but most countries are only paying lip service to the coming catastrophe.

At last, a sense of serious urgency imbues the world's response to the Ebola crisis. On Sept. 18, by the largest vote in U.N. history, the Security Council adopted a unanimous resolution, co-sponsored by 130 countries, that declared Ebola a security threat to all nations.

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Can the U.S. Army Degrade and Destroy Ebola?

Obama is sending 3,000 troops to West Africa to stop the deadly outbreak. But 250,000 people could already be infected by Christmas.

As the Ebola epidemic in West Africa accelerates beyond the capacity to count its toll, an unprecedented escalation in global support is evident, led by U.S. President Barack Obama's call for U.S. military intervention. In what will amount to the largest humanitarian commitment since the American response to the 2004 earthquake and tsunami in Aceh, Indonesia, the White House announced late on Sept. 15 that an estimated 3,000 military personnel will deploy to the Ebola-ravaged West African nations, alongside a significant increase in civilian mobilization.

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