The current Ebola outbreak in West Africa is unprecedented in its size and spread. We’ve heard how the WHO plan to tackle it and about the potential of various treatments and vaccines, but it is unlikely to be brought under control before the end of 2014.
The SMC hosted a briefing to hear from a hugely experienced panel about where we are now, if is enough being done, and what is expected to happen next. The panel discussed:
– Why is this outbreak so different and so much larger than previous ones?
– What is the UK doing to help those in West Africa?
– What is the level of risk to the UK?
– Will the US military input help the situation?
– What are the benefits and risks of using untested treatments?
– How likely is the Oxford vaccine to work?
– When will we know whether the healthy Oxford volunteers have had any adverse effects?
– What about blood serum treatments?
– What is the possibility of this virus mutating to become more transmissible?
– How many people might die during this outbreak?
Dr Jeremy Farrar, Director, Wellcome Trust
Prof Peter Piot, Director and Professor of Global Health, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine
Prof Dame Sally Davies, Chief Medical Officer & Chief Scientific Adviser, Department of Health (DH)
Prof David Heymann, Professor of Infectious Disease Epidemiology, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, and Chairman, Public Health England (PHE)
Prof Chris Whitty, Chief Scientific Adviser and Director of Research and Evidence, Department for International Development (DFID)
Dr Ben Neuman, Lecturer in Virology, University of Reading