The Role of Science in the Epidemic

Science played an essential role in prevention efforts throughout the West African epidemic, helping to eventually contain the spread and end the outbreak. Various scientific fields were called upon to address the wide-ranging issues caused by Ebola. Through laboratory testing, researchers gained a better understanding of the virus to develop effective vaccines. Cutting-edge technology increased overall capacity and enabled health care providers to detect infection at a faster pace.

Epidemiologists employed contact tracing methods to track down cases, implement isolation procedures, and identify disease patterns and trends. Mathematical modeling was also used to predict the progression of the outbreak, using real-world data to inform possible trajectories. These forecasts served as a guide for allocation of resources and personnel.

Scientists worked together to identify potential interventions that would improve knowledge, attitudes and behaviors related to Ebola to effectively combat the disease.

Arktek Guinea

Arktekā„¢ cold storage vaccine storage device in use during the Ebola vaccine trials in Guinea, June 29, 2015. Photograph by Sean Hawkey

Wong, Karen

Dr. Karen Wong

Dr. Karen Wong discusses creating mathmatical models and projections for Ebola spread.

3. The Role of Science in the Epidemic