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October 8, 2014

Will the Expert That Knows Ebola Please Stand Up?

The world hasn’t seen anything quite like the spread of Ebola for some time. Chances are the Centers for Disease Control and Doctors Without Borders have some informed guesses, but they don’t know the outcome of this epidemic. Case in point: Journalists in West Africa don’t know the best way to protect themselves from the disease. So many organizations are giving out different pieces of advice that it’s hard to know who is most knowledgeable, according to the Columbia Journalism Review. “There is no protocol,” said journalist Glenna Gordon, who works in West Africa. “People are grasping for information.” Can people living in Ebola-stricken areas just wear rubber boots and not come within six feet of anyone who is clearly infected? Or should they suit up like Doctors Without Borders in what will probably be the scariest costume this Halloween season? So far, the Los Angeles Times reports, the disease can’t be transmitted through the air, but with the amount of cases, it could mutate. “I see the reasons to dampen down public fears,” Dr. Philip Russell said, who researched Ebola for the U.S. Army. “But scientifically, we’re in the middle of the first experiment of multiple, serial passages of Ebola virus in man…. God knows what this virus is going to look like. I don’t.” More…

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