While Ebola continues to spread in West Africa, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) officials call the risk of an outbreak in the United States very low. Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) Professor Michael VanRooyen, director of the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative (HHI), agrees. In an interview with the Harvard Gazette, published August 13, 2014, he discussed how the virus is transmitted — through very close personal contact with bodily fluids, unlike influenza — and how Harvard can help.
“In general, the role of an academic institution is not to provide clinical services on the ground in an epidemic, but to provide other types of support for [nongovernmental organizations], through research and information management,” he said. “HHI and Harvard can play an important role in educating responders, understanding social, political, and human rights dimensions, and helping to optimize future responses.”
Read Harvard Gazette interview: Understanding Ebola
Poll finds many in U.S. lack knowledge about Ebola and its transmission (HSPH press release)