The Ebola epidemic and public health response

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Abstract

Introduction

An unprecedented global effort has been required to tackle the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. In this paper, we describe the contribution of Public Health England (PHE) in West Africa and the UK.

Sources of data

Public Health England

Areas of agreement

The epidemic has been a humanitarian crisis for the three worst affected countries. PHE contributions have included expertise in outbreak control and microbiology services in West Africa, and UK preparedness for an imported case.

Areas of controversy

National and international systems require change to enhance the response to the next international public health crisis.

Growing points

Legacy planning following the epidemic will be crucial, supporting the recovery of the health and public health systems in West Africa and ensuring that the knowledge gained during this outbreak is put to best use.

Areas timely for developing research

Ongoing PHE-associated research includes efforts to understand the pathogenicity of Ebola virus disease, improve diagnostic capability, explore therapeutic options and develop new vaccines.

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