When responding to classmates, provide additional critiques on approaches used by public health and medical professionals during the U.S. Ebola cluster investigation. 

Please respond in first person

Classmates discussion is below

Danell Discussion:

During 2014–2016,  the CDC, working with U.S. and international partners, mounted a concerted response to end the unprecedented epidemic of Ebola virus disease (Ebola) in West Africa. The response from the CDC, which was one of the largest reported responses in the agency’s history, was directed towards controlling the epidemic in West Africa and strengthening preparedness of the outbreak from occurring in the United States.

With only having experience in responding to approximately 20 Ebola outbreaks since 1976 the CDC and other international responders had some what of an understanding of the disease and how to stop its spread, the epidemic in West Africa presented new and formidable challenges. The initial response was slow and complicated for several reasons, including wide geographic spread of cases, poor public health and societal infrastructure, sociodemographic factors, local unfamiliarity with Ebola, and distrust of government and health care workers.

Due to the slow response of this caused public alarm in the United States,  after Ebola several cases were diagnosed in Dallas, Texas, and New York City, New York. The CDC, in collaboration with its U.S. and international counterparts, applied proven public health strategies as well as innovative new approaches to help control the Ebola epidemic in West Africa and strengthen public health readiness in the United States. Lessons learned include the recognition that West African and other countries need effective systems to detect and stop infectious disease threats, the need for stronger international surge capacity for times when countries are overwhelmed by an outbreak, and the importance of improving infection prevention and control in health care settings.

I believe that once the cases were established in the United States a protocol should have been initiated regarding training of hospital staff and medical workers in the infected cities. Not only training protocols but quarantine areas could have provided an isolated area where the virus could have been study. 


CDC. Ebola (Ebola virus disease). Atlanta, GA: CDC. 

Meridith Discussion:

Ebola was discovered in Africa in what is now the Democratic Republic of Congo in 1976 (CDC, 2021). In 2014 an outbreak happened in Central Africa. It spread to other countries including Italy and Spain. It was the largest outbreak since the discovery of Ebola and more than 28000 people died. There were a few reported cases in the US as well. “This was the first time EVD extended out from more isolated, rural areas and into densely populated urban centers, providing an unprecedented opportunity for transmission” (CDC, 2019). Up until then, Ebola had never spread so far.  Focusing on the cases in the US, we know that it started when patient 1 traveled from Liberia to Dallas TX on September 25th (Chevalier, Chung, & Smith, 2014). We know that two other cases were confirmed due to direct contact with patient 1. Even though patients 2 & 3 wore PPE while caring for patient 1, they still contracted Ebola. The medical professionals involved in this case did not properly protect their staff, nor prepare their staff for Ebola. The public health professionals did not prepare the rest of the world for Ebola either. Travel out of Africa should have been stopped much earlier on. Ebola has been around since 1976. By 2014 more information should have been available. Also, they should not have let the staff that cared for patient 1 travel. They should have been isolated from the beginning. 

CDC. (2019, March 08). 2014-2016 Ebola Outbreak in West Africa. Retrieved from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:  Chevalier, M. S., Chung, W., & Smith, J. (2014, November 14). CDC Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR). Retrieved from Ebola Virus Disease Cluster in the United States — Dallas County, Texas, 2014: 


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