A ravenous Ebola epidemic that the world could have stopped
By Anjana Ahuja (Sep 23, 2014 7:24 pm)
Daniel Drezner, a politics professor at Tufts University, once wrote about what would happen if zombies rose from the dead and began to eat the living. It was an ingenious conceit: only in such an extreme scenario could various policy interventions be tested to destruction. The Ebola outbreak, now officially an epidemic, almost feels like Professor Drezner’s book made real.
While previous outbreaks have been speedily contained in rural villages, this one has gone rogue. In nine months it has killed nearly 3,000, more than all previous outbreaks put together. It is terrorising five countries: Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Senegal and Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country, where it has been detected in Lagos, the most populous city. Traditional burial practices such as washing of corpses mean that the dead, whose bodily fluids ooze the virus, really can kill the living.