Episode 54: Panic in the Streets - Study Guide for College In Liberia, a team of epidemiologists have to delay a criminal investigation, look the other way on illegal drug use and build trust to stop an outbreak of Ebola.

Episode 54: Panic in the Streets - Study Guide for College

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Study Guide and Reflection Questions

We hear from epidemiologists and public health workers about how to curb an Ebola outbreak John Moore/Getty Images hide caption

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We hear from epidemiologists and public health workers about how to curb an Ebola outbreak

John Moore/Getty Images

1. In the episode, the epidemiologists talk about mistrust towards the government and international organizations. What are some of reasons that they give to explain why there was this mistrust?

2. The government and public health workers neglected to add an exit to a large ebola treatment unit. Reflect on what message that sends to the public. What are some ways to remedy trust after an issue like that?

3. Shankar and the epidemiologists talk about three strands of the web that made this such a complicated case.

  1. They had to persuade the young men in the gang to go to the quarantine facility.
  2. The woman who ran the drug house (Drug Mama) might be sick too.
  3. They couldn't track down Time Bomb.

Pause the Episode. Describe how you would handle each of these three strands:

  1. Getting the men into the quarantine facility
  2. Finding out if Drug Mama is sick
  3. Tracking down Time Bomb

Resume Episode. Describe how the epidemiologists dealt with each of these three strands.

How do their solutions compare to yours? Are there any decisions you disagree with?

4. At the end of the episode, Athalia Christie talks about some of the cultural changes that she and other health workers had to ask people to do. What are they?

5. Reflect on these cultural changes. How would you go about convincing people to change their customs?

6. Athalia Christie says that in dealing with an outbreak like this, "it's really understanding what it is that's driving people. You have to understand their contexts, their concerns and their needs." Why do you need to understand people's drives, contexts, concerns, and needs? Why are these so important in public health?

7. Throughout this episode, the government and public health workers have to make a lot of trade-offs in order to stop the Ebola virus from spreading. Do you believe all these trade-offs were justified? Were there any that you wouldn't have done yourself?

 

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