An award-winning genetic researcher who helped contain the Ebola outbreak and a prize-winning journalist reveal what it will take to prevent the next pandemic from spiraling out of control.
As we saw with our response to Ebola and Zika—and are seeing now with the disastrous early handling of the coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak—a lack of preparedness, delays in action, and large-scale system-wide problems with the distribution of critical medical resources can result in lost lives.
Outbreak Culture examines each phase of the 2014 Ebola outbreak in West Africa—one of the largest and deadliest epidemics to date—and identifies factors that prevented key information from reaching physicians. Drawing insights from clinical workers, data collectors, organizational experts, and public health researchers, Pardis Sabeti and Lara Salahi expose a fractured system that failed to gather and share knowledge of the virus and ensure timely containment. The authors describe how much more could have been done by global medical and political organizations to safeguard the well-being of caregivers, patients, and communities affected by this devastating outbreak and they outline changes that are urgently needed to ensure a more effective coordinated response to the next epidemic.
Secrecy, competition, and poor coordination plague nearly every major public health crisis—and we are seeing their deadly consequences play out again. A work of fearless integrity and unassailable authority, Outbreak Culture seeks to change the culture of responders.