An editorial in the August 10 New York Times: Controlling the Ebola Epidemic. Excerpt:
Many drug companies have little interest in devising treatments or vaccines for Ebola because the potential for profit is small. Much of the research has been financed by the National Institutes of Health and the Department of Defense and carried out by small start-ups, but some experts believe the federal government has not shown enough urgency to push these programs ahead.
Traditional public health measures, like finding and isolating patients who become sick, tracing their contacts and using stringent infection control procedures in hospitals, remain the best bet for containing the epidemic in West Africa.
The C.D.C. has elevated its response to the highest possible level and is sending 50 more health care professionals to the area, backed by hundreds more professionals in this country. Sierra Leone, which has the highest number of cases, is planning to deploy hundreds of troops and police officers to enforce isolation measures that its residents have so far ignored, and Liberia, with the second largest number, has declared a 90-day state of emergency that allows it to suspend civil liberties and impose quarantines. Nigeria has also declared a state of emergency.
Such public health measures should ultimately, although perhaps not quickly, bring the outbreaks under control.