New infectious animal diseases that affect public health and have the capacity to cross borders will continue to emerge around the globe. These diseases could potentially develop human-to-human transmissibility; thus they incite public fear. A proactive approach to disease risk management that combines foresight, prevention, impact mitigation, early detection, and swift and effective responses is warranted.
The recent Ebola Virus Disease outbreak in West Africa claimed the lives of 11,300 people. In all, 25,601 persons were infected. But these are only the official numbers for the three countries of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone – the true number of victims is thought to be considerably higher. How could the crisis assume such dramatic proportions? The authors give accounts of their analyses on Ebola outbreak and response, but also of their personal experiences during their work in the countries concerned.