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Global Health Expert In San Diego To Discuss Lessons From Ebola Outbreak

Aired 4/13/15 on KPBS Midday Edition.

Global Health Expert In San Diego To Discuss Lessons From Ebola Outbreak

GUEST:

Laurie Garrett, senior fellow for global health, Council on Foreign Relations

Transcript

Council on Foreign Relations

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Laurie Garrett is pictured. She wrote about the threat of Ebola and the need for strong public health systems in her best-selling book "The Coming Plague."

A Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who has studied Ebola for 20 years will be in San Diego on Tuesday to discuss the outbreak.

Laurie Garrett’s visit to San Diego State University comes as the World Health Organization continues to treat Ebola patients in West Africa. The virus has so far killed more than 10,500 people in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea.

Garrett, who wrote about the threat of epidemic disease and the need for strong public health systems in her best-selling book "The Coming Plague,” will speak at the SDSU symposium, "Ebola: Lessons from the Field.”

She said the most recent epidemic of Ebola proved that viruses aren’t limited to certain types of communities. In the U.S., an American health care worker who was infected with the disease was released last week after recovering. He was the 11th person to be treated in the U.S.

“There’s a kind of smug notion that this virus takes advantage of very poor settings,” Garrett told KPBS Midday Edition on Monday. “That had indeed been the prior history of the 20 to 21 outbreaks of Ebola since it’s been discovered but what we’ve seen with this epidemic there’s not a written rule.”

Garrett said the world responded with panic during the most recent epidemic.

“Ebola has always been a special virus in the minds of people who follow such things because it is so lethal,” said Garrett who also serves as a senior fellow for Global Health for the Council on Foreign Relations. “It’s quite a gruesome disease.”

Garrett will speak at 4 p.m. Tuesday at Arts and Letters Room 101. For more information about the symposium, go to sdsu.edu.

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