Rating

8

Qualities

  • Analytical
  • Scientific
  • Applicable

Recommendation

Dengue fever has no vaccine or effective treatment, and it kills some 22,000 people per year. That’s twice the number of people killed by the Ebola virus over the course of 24 outbreaks in close to 40 years. People are, however, obsessed with Ebola, in part because it leads inevitably to a gruesome death. That a vaccine for Ebola has only gone into clinical trials recently speaks to a problem with the development of vaccines for infectious diseases: People vulnerable to such diseases simply can’t pay for the development of the vaccine. Epidemiologist Seth Berkley’s talk offers insight into how to develop vaccines when and where they are most needed.

Summary

The Ebola virus terrifies and obsesses people.

Witnessing the death of a child of Dengue fever is a monstrous sight, and there is nothing a doctor can do about it. Some 22,000 people die of Dengue fever every year, some twice the number of people who have died of Ebola over the course of 24 outbreaks in nearly 40 years. Yet there is something especially terrifying about Ebola. That may be because, even though Ebola is significantly less contagious than other infectious diseases, like the flu and measles, it makes a dreadful death all but inevitable, and there is neither a vaccine nor an effective treatment.

Ebola has been around since 1976, and the 24 outbreaks have provided

About the Speaker

Epidemiologist Seth Berkley is leading the charge to make sure vaccines are available to everyone, including those living in the developing world.


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