At the time of writing, West Africa is still dealing with the worst known Ebola epidemic. Quite rightly, the international focus has been on reducing the transmission rate of this disease until it is eradicated from the human population. Once the epidemic curve has declined to this point, scientific attention should be re-directed to the prevention of future zoonotic outbreaks. There already has been much written on how the West African epidemic might have been sparked, but speculation often has been presented as fact and in some cases has been contrary to available evidence. Such inaccurate reporting on the drivers of the emergence of this epidemic is unfortunate, as this can influence policy decisions while failing to identify how Ebola and other serious zoonoses should be controlled.
This research was supported by the Ecosystem Services for Poverty Alleviation (ESPA) programme
Wood, J., Cunningham, A., Suu-Ire, R., Jephcott, F., Ntiamoa-Baidu, Y., Ebola, bats and evidence-based policy, EcoHealth, 2015
Ebola, bats and evidence-based policy