Newsweek  |  May 19, 2017

If Ebola were to spread outside of the country it might mean an alarming start to a larger outbreak that will likely continue for some time, says Dr. Daniel Lucey, a spokesperson for the Infectious Diseases Society of America, an Ebola expert and senior scholar with the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law at Georgetown University. Lucey says the 2014 epidemic in West Africa that sickened 28,646 and killed 11,323 as of March 2016, taught us that the virus becomes more difficult to contain once it shows up in a new country. That outbreak which was said to begin in Guinea spread in a matter of months to Liberia and Sierra Leone.

“The crossing of borders means you have to have a regional response and not just a national response. It adds another layer,” says Lucey. Handling any outbreak of an infectious disease takes huge coordination between public health officials, health care workers, local governments and international organizations. “That can be hard to do for one country, but then you have to do it for two or three it’s a new level of complexity.”

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