Global Emergency Legal Responses to the 2014 Ebola Outbreak: Public Health and the Law

Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics 42 (4):595-601 (2014)
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From their relative obscurity over the past three decades, varied strains of Ebola disease have emerged as a substantial global biothreat. The current outbreak of Ebola, beginning in March 2014 in Guinea, is projected to infect tens of thousands of people before being brought under control. Some estimate the outbreak could exceed 100,000 cases and extend another 12-18 months. Ebola’s spread has the potential to extend across the globe, but is concentrated in several African countries. Collectively, these countries are home to nearly 290 million people. Among Liberia’s population of 4.1 million, over 1,100 people have already died from Ebola in less than 6 months; by comparison, if this same outbreak and death rate occurred in the United States, over 88,000 Americans would perish.



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