What Happens to a Country When an Outbreak of Ebola…
Liberia is nearing a milestone. On May 9, its Ebola outbreak will be officially declared over, assuming no new cases between now and then.
But what happens when an outbreak of Ebola ends?
Dr. Peter Piot, the director of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and the co-discoverer of Ebola, visited the Democratic Republic of Congo last year. He wanted to show his wife the region where the first known outbreak of the virus took place. They went to Yambuku, a remote village in the north where Ebola killed almost 300 people in 1976.
He says Yambuku hasn’t changed much since then.
When Ebola first struck the village, it took a toll on the region’s already weak health infrastructure and economy. There was only one hospital in Yambuku, opened by Catholic missionaries, and when that closed, “regular health care became impossible because Ebola kills, in the first place, the caregivers,” Piot recalls. “There was no place [for residents] to go because there are no other health facilities.”