Dr. Lee Riley describes how urban poverty shapes the public health worries of the future.
As of October 31, 2014, the West Africa Ebola epidemic had claimed 4,960 lives. Respecting neither social status nor political borders, the disease’s victims ranged from young children to local healers to world-renowned doctors, and new cases were being discovered in Europe and the United Sates, most of them contracted abroad. As bad as the situation was, according to Dr. Lee Riley, a professor of Public Health at UC Berkeley, it could have been much worse. What, he asks, would have happened if the largest Ebola outbreak the world has ever seen had begun just a few months earlier, during the World Cup that brought a million visitors to Brazil?