Hunt for Ebola: Building a Disease Surveillance System in Liberia, 2014-2015   [open pdf - 532KB]

From the Synopsis: "When the first cases of Ebola virus disease appeared in Liberia at the end of March 2014, a critical first step in preventing an epidemic was to identify those who had contracted the virus. However, Liberia's disease surveillance capacity remained feeble in the wake of a 14-year civil war that had weakened the health system, and citizens' distrust of the government sometimes raised risks for public health teams dispatched to carry out that vital surveillance function. In August, as the number of new infections began to escalate, the government and its international partners shifted to a proactive strategy. Rather than wait for families to call for help, they began to engage local leaders and community health workers in hunting the disease. They also developed data management practices to more effectively track and analyze the evolution of the epidemic. By year-end, most of the new Ebola infections involved Liberians who were already under observation. In another important measure of success, the time between patients' onsets of symptoms and their medical isolations shortened markedly. The ability to hunt down Ebola slowed the spread of the disease and helped bring an end to the epidemic in May 2015."

2017 Trustees of Princeton University. Posted here with permission. Document is under a Creative Commons license and requires proper attribution and noncommercial use to be shared: [http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/].
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