In the Feb. 14 Washington Post, Dr. Maryam Deloffre, professor of historical and political studies, writes about the outbreak of Zika virus, which notably can cause microcephaly in babies of mothers infected with Zika while pregnant. Deloffre analyzes successful and unsuccessful policies from the Ebola outbreak to frame her proposals for effective containment of the Zika virus.
Deloffre also asserts that human security is an important lens through which to view the developing outbreak, advising that people should “expand the notion of security beyond safety from violent threats to include economic, health, and food security.”
While a public health approach eventually managed to contain Ebola, rapid responses to infectious disease threats often fail to address root causes—inadequate healthcare systems, poor sanitation and waste management and endemic poverty. Defeating these root causes could end the pernicious cycle that creates out-of-control pandemics.