Risk of repeated epidemics of Ebola virus disease

Mark Loeb

The epidemics of Ebola hemorrhagic fever lasted almost 2 years. What is the risk of repeated epidemics of this magnitude in future?

Mark Loeb: That is a very difficult question. It is hard to answer because the risk of the Ebola virus was predicated on a number of things: transmission likely from a bat to human somewhere, and it was also predicated by lack of a vaccine. There was no effective vaccine, at least at the very beginning of the Ebola outbreak. It was also a social thing where people who were getting infected were in very poor countries and had very poor infrastructure and there was a lot of superstition about transmission.

The same could happen again, but because people now will be better prepared for some of the challenges dealing with Ebola and the fact that there was an experimental vaccine that was highly effective, I think that would lessen the risk or lessen the size of the outbreak.

But in terms of the prediction for an outbreak, as far as I am aware, there is no one who could accurately predict any outbreak.

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