The Next Epidemic — Lessons from Ebola

New England Journal of Medicine 372(15):1381 (2015) PMID 25782701

As the Ebola epidemic fades from the world's attention, we risk missing the opportunity to learn from it. One key lesson is that the world needs a global warning and response system for outbreaks. Bill Gates sketches a vision for such a system. Perhaps the only good news from the tragic Ebola epidemic in Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia is that it may serve as a wake-up call: we must prepare for future epidemics of diseases that may spread more effectively than Ebola. There is a significant chance that an epidemic of a substantially more infectious disease will occur sometime in the next 20 years; after all, we saw major epidemics during the 20th century, including the Spanish influenza epidemic of 1918–1919 and the ongoing pandemic of human immunodeficiency virus. In fact, of all the things that could kill more than 10 million . . .

DOI: 10.1056/NEJMp1502918