Countries can be better prepared and respond faster to disease outbreaks if public health data is shared more freely.
Sharing data openly across regions and organisations can help to accelerate preparedness and responses to public health emergencies.
A man pushes a wheelbarrow past a sign in Liberia during the West African Ebola outbreak.
A proper understanding of community dynamics and local beliefs can inform medical interventions that are capable of establishing positive and productive relations with local communities.
Border screening at Kenya’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.
Kenya appears prepared for Ebola outbreaks, but a lot more can be done.
An Ebola treatment centre in North Kivu where the outbreak’s epicentre is.
Borders are porous between North Kivu province of the DRC and neighbouring countries, so the potential for spread is highly likely.
Health workers from Bwera hospital prepare to transport the body of a fifty-year-old woman who died of Ebola to the burial site in Bwera, Uganda.
Ebola is difficult to contain because of human social and behavioural factors. But it can be if 100% of the infected people's contacts are identified and monitored.
Most cases go undetected.
Many cases of Ebola are missed entirely. Affected countries need to invest in primary healthcare and detection to nip outbreaks in the bud.
Burial of Ebola victims in the DRC.
EPA/HUGH KINSELLA CUNNINGHAM
Vaccines against Ebola exist, as do diagnostic tests and screening at border crossings. So why is the disease spreading?
Health workers burying a child who died of Ebola in the DRC’s North Kivu province.
Hugh Kinsella Cunningham/EPA
The grim facts are undisputed: the current Ebola outbreak is expanding, largely unabated.
A health worker looks on at an Ebola transit centre in Beni in North Kivu province, DRC.
Hugh Kinsella Cunningham/EPA
Research has identified a range of health complications in Ebola survivors. These include eye complications and vision problems.
The way humans share the world with wildlife has rapidly changed – and this is having a serious impact on the spread of pathogens.
West Africa experienced the worst Ebola outbreak between 2013 and 2016.
The current Ebola outbreak in the DRC is devastating vulnerable communities already affected by displacement and violence.
The Ebola virus.
The Ebola virus claimed 11,000 lives in 2014. Today, scientists may have cured the disease in guinea pigs by using antibodies.
During high-stress deadly epidemics, even well-trained responders can get caught up in behaviors that are more harmful than helpful.
AP Photo/Olivier Matthys
The high stress conditions of an outbreak can spread a dysfunctional culture among those working to fight it. A survey after the 2015 Ebola epidemic quantified the issue – and suggests a better way.
Health workers in Liberia at the height of the 2014-2016 Ebola outbreak.
Four new Ebola treatments are being tried out in the DRC.
Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, responsible for transmitting Zika.
AP Photo/Felipe Dana
In January, measles returned to the Pacific Northwest, while Ebola resurged in the Congo. It would take a lot more research for scientists to be able to stop threats like these in their tracks.
A health worker prepares to administer the experimental Ebola vaccine in north-western DRC.
The new Ebola vaccine is yet to be licensed but evidence shows that it protects against the strain of the virus.
Mali was one of the West African countries affected by the biggest Ebola outbreak ever recorded from 2014 to 2016.
Without the current experimental vaccine the Ebola outbreak in the DRC has the potential to spiral out of control.
Old World fruit bats.
Jeffrey Paul Wade/Shutterstock
The family of deadly filoviruses just got bigger.
Fighting deadly diseases such as Ebola is a strong case for providing donor aid to authoritarian countries like the DRC.
Aid has never been just about helping people. It's also about gaining influence and exercising soft power.
A portable DNA sequencer in action.
Researchers have increasingly turned to DNA sequencing to help identify and track diseases like Ebola.