Articles on Ebola

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Prime Minister Tony Abbott said there were dozens of Australian doctors and nurses working with non-government agencies in the fight against ebola. AAP/Phillip Biggs

Too risky to send people to assist with Ebola: Abbott

Tony Abbott says the government won’t send doctors and nurses to help with the Ebola crisis without being “absolutely confident…
It’s unclear whether Spanish dog Excalibur, pictured here with owner Javier Limon (husband of Ebola-infected nurse Teresa Ramos), was infected. EFE/PACMA

We still don’t know if domestic animals can spread Ebola

Spanish authorities have euthanised the dog of Madrid nurse Teresa Romero Ramos, who contracted Ebola. The 12-year-old dog, Excalibur, was not showing symptoms and was not tested for Ebola. But he lived…
Ebola is not spread through small airborne particles or larger droplets from coughing or sneezing. placbo/Flickr

Should we be worried about Ebola becoming airborne?

Suggestions the Ebola virus could “mutate” into a form that is transmissible by the respiratory route are speculative, and the likelihood of it happening are low. Nonetheless, the idea appears to have…
Commotion outside house of infected nurse Teresa Ramos near Madrid. EPA

Ebola won’t gain a foothold in Western countries – here’s why

The Ebola epidemic in West Africa is the worst in recorded history. There have been in excess of 7,400 cases and 3,439 deaths, primarily in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea. More recently, the spread of…
Having health-care workers use personal protective equipment significantly reduces the risk of onward transmission. AHMED JALLANZO/EPA

Quarantine works against Ebola but over-use risks disaster

A man in the United States has become the first known international traveller to be infected in the West Africa Ebola epidemic and carry the virus abroad. He is thought to have been infected in Liberia…
West African health-care workers are overworked and under-equipped to deal with the outbreak. European Commission DG ECHO/Flickr

How Ebola started, spread and spiralled out of control

Too slow. Too little, too late. Unprecedented. Out of control. These are just some of the descriptors for the biggest recorded epidemic of human infection by an ebolavirus. The question by some is how…
Foreign minister Julie Bishop (right) says Australians travelling to West Africa must ensure their employers can evacuate them if they become ill as the government will not. Alan Porritt/AAP

Gung-ho on terror, Australia is missing in action against Ebola

Well over 5,300 people have been infected and over 2,600 have died in the current Ebola outbreak in West Africa. But these numbers are thought to be gross underestimates as even the most conservative projections…
As viruses replicate, their genome changes. EPA/Ahmed Jallanzo

Genetic evolution: how the Ebola virus changes and adapts

The current outbreak of Ebola virus in West Africa is unprecedented in size, with nearly 4,800 confirmed or probable cases and more than 2,400 deaths. People have been infected in Guinea, Liberia, Sierra…
When African nations can effectively curb tax evasion, they may also be able to fight their major health problems. AAP/EPA/AHMED JALLANZO

How tax inspectors could prevent the next Ebola outbreak

Much has been written about the poor public health and clinical capacity to respond to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. Inadequate medical and nursing staff resources, inadequate isolation wards, inadequate…
Fears surrounding the spraying of disinfectant and quarantine measures have led to protests and riots in Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Guinea. AHMED JALLANZO/EPA

Don’t panic about Ebola’s spread, here’s what we can do instead

News that a 25-year-old Gold Coast man is being quarantined in hospital after returning from the Democratic Republic of Congo two days ago is no reason to panic. If anything, the incident highlights the…
Bottled and ready to go. NIAID/SGK Handout

Why we need volunteers for the first human Ebola trials

The current outbreak of Ebola in West Africa has emerged rapidly and evolved with alarming ease. An unprecedented number of lives have been lost and WHO predictions are that the virus will infect in excess…
A Liberian nurse disinfects a looted mattress taken from an elementary school that was used as an Ebola isolation unit in West Point, Monrovia, Liberia. AHMED JALLANZO/EPA

Epidemic ethics: four lessons from the current Ebola outbreak

The extent of the current Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa has belatedly focused the attention of non-governmental organisations, local and Western governments, and international media. What we haven’t…
Major pharmaceutical companies have shown little interest in developing effective treatments for illnesses such as Ebola virus disease. AAP Image/David Crosling

How Western national interest drives Ebola drug development

Ebola virus disease typically only occurs in rural and remote areas among resource-poor populations. Until the large, recent outbreak in West Africa, cases of the illness were a rarity. So the fact that…

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