Ebola Outbreak

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Ebola: a word that for many triggers a somewhat distant memory back to 2014 when the whole world was up in arms about it spreading and becoming a pandemic. This incident of outbreak in West Africa shows how far we have come as a world, technologically and medically, but also how far we still have to go. The severity of the outbreak was completely avoidable, however due to the disregard of certain factors not usually associated with disease, such as cultural practices, it became an epidemic. In order to approach future infectious disease outbreaks, research shows that a holistic approach that incorporates local socioeconomic and cultural factors may be needed. To begin to fully understand what should be done going forward, it’s important to …show more content…
An example of this is the need for burial and funeral traditions in West African culture. Particularly, there is the “love touch” at many funerals. Barry Hewlett, a professor of anthropology, describes this when he states, “At the funeral, all family members ritually washed their hands in a common bowl, and during open casket all were welcome to come up to deceased person and give a final touch on the face or elsewhere (called a love touch)”(Hewlett). Ebola can’t be spread just by touch, but if the deceased person has Ebola and has any sort of bodily fluid on them, it’s very likely that others will be infected. Clearly that wasn’t wanted, so health officials tried to create safer burials by seizing the bodies of those who died because of …show more content…
The movie Contagion, made in 2011, depicts this. In the movie, a deadly disease sweeps the globe at a terrifying rate. A woman contracts the disease during a business trip to Hong Kong and brings it back with her to the United States. Soon millions are infected and the world is in a panic. The officials are left in shock and are trying to act quickly, without much luck. Laurie Garrett, a science journalist and consultant for the movie, believes that there were scary real life parallels within the movie (Garrett). It really did represent the lack of emphasis on global health and how fast disease can actually

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