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Understanding the Ebola Outbreak: A Multimedia Resource Guide

A health worker sprays the sole of a colleague’s shoes at an Ebola Isolation Clinic in Monrovia, Liberia. Photo by Staton Winter, United Nations


A health worker sprays the sole of a colleague’s shoes at an Ebola Isolation Clinic in Monrovia, Liberia. Photo by Staton Winter, United Nations

Since the Ebola outbreak claimed its first victim more than nine months ago, an estimated 5,000 people in five West African nations have been infected, and nearly half of them have died. It’s the worst Ebola outbreak on record; it’s been wreaking havoc for months, but until recently, has been largely overlooked by the international community.

That changed in early August, when the first American to contract the virus was brought back to the United States for treatment. And this week, President Obama announced plans to provide support. The World Health Organization recently estimated that, at the current rate of infection, the number of cases would double every three weeks, and that nearly $1 billion in medical aid would be required to stem the crisis. Select from the tabs below to view a collection of multimedia resources from around the web that explore the issue from a range of angles.

U.S. response

About the outbreak

View this Associated Press interactive in fullscreen mode here.


Why it spread so fast

Inside the Hot Zone



How the virus works

Epidemics compared

The infographic below was produced by Good Magazine and Column Five Media. View original version here.

This inforgraphic was produced by Al Jazeera. View original fullscreen version here.

Finding the cure


Why no vaccine yet?

An interesting New Yorker article on “Ebolanomics” and the inequities of the global health system:

When pharmaceutical companies are deciding where to direct their R. & D. money, they naturally assess the potential market for a drug candidate. That means that they have an incentive to target diseases that affect wealthier people (above all, people in the developed world), who can afford to pay a lot. They have an incentive to make drugs that many people will take. And they have an incentive to make drugs that people will take regularly for a long time—drugs like statins.

This system does a reasonable job of getting Westerners the drugs they want (albeit often at high prices). But it also leads to enormous underinvestment in certain kinds of diseases and certain categories of drugs. Diseases that mostly affect poor people in poor countries aren’t a research priority, because it’s unlikely that those markets will ever provide a decent return.

How you can help

A recent Vox piece emphasizes the importance of wise charitable giving and provides some good tips on identifyng the most effective organizations and causes (not just the ones that are most popular). According to one charitable giving expert interviewed, “donating money to the best developing world health charities will reach at least 100 times as many people than if you donate to developed world health causes.”

The US Agency for International Development provides a good list of 37 non-governmental organizations involved in the Ebola crisis, including links to donate. In a recently released statement, the agency emphasizes that monetary donations to these organizations are the most effective way for Americans to help:

The organizations below are involved in response work in areas affected by the Ebola virus, which has impacted thousands of people in West Africa. As relief and recovery efforts evolve, these organizations tailor their work to meet the changing needs of people and communities. Monetary donations enable responding organizations to react with speed and specificity in critical sectors now and as communities recover. Even a small donation can have great impact. Monetary donations save lives and money.

List of Non-Governmental Organizations
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Act!onAid

Act!onAid Ebola Website

Email Contact

Donate by Mail: N/A

Donate Online: Here

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Adventist Development and Relief Agency

ADRA Ebola Website

Email Contact

Donate by Mail: View

Donate Online: Here

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Adventist Health International

AHI Ebola Website

Email Contact

Donate by Mail: 11060 Anderson St., Loma Linda, CA 92350

Donate Online: Here

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Africare

Africare Ebola Website

Email Contact

Donate by Mail: N/A

Donate Online: Here

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AmeriCares

AmeriCares Ebola Website

Email Contact

Donate by Mail: N/A

Donate Online: Here

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American Jewish World Service (AJWS)

AJWS Ebola Website

Email Contact

Donate by Mail: 45 West 36th St., 11th Floor, New York, NY 10018

Donate Online: Here

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American Red Cross

Red Cross Website

Email Contact

Donate by Mail: N/A

Donate Online: Here

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Amref Health Africa

Amref Health Africa Ebola Website

Email Contact

Donate by Mail: N/A

Donate Online: Here

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Baptist World Alliance

Baptist World Alliance Ebola Website

Email Contact

Donate by Mail: 405 North Washington St., Falls Church, VA 22046

Donate Online: Here

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Brac

Brac Ebola Website

Email Contact

Donate by Mail: 110 William St., 29th Floor, New York, NY 10038

Donate Online: Here

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Brother’s Brother Foundation

Brother’s Brother Ebola Website

Email Contact

Donate by Mail: 1200 Galveston Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15233

Donate Online: Here

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Catholic Relief Services (CRS)

CRS Ebola Website

Email Contact

Donate by Mail: PO Box 17090, Baltimore, MD 21297

Donate Online: Here

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CBM (Christian Blind Mission)

CBM Ebola Website

Email Contact

Donate by Mail: N/A

Donate Online: Here

CW-logo

Concern Worldwide

Concern Worldwide Ebola Website

Email Contact

Donate by Mail: N/A

Donate Online: Here

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CDC Foundation

CDC Ebola Website

Email Contact

Donate by Mail: View

Donate Online: Here

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Develop Africa

Develop Africa Ebola Website

Email Contact

Donate by Mail:

Donate Online: Here

DR-logo

DirectRelief

DirectRelief Website

Email Contact

Donate by Mail: N/A

Donate Online: Here

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Episcopal Relief and Development

Episcopal Relief Ebola Website

Email Contact

Donate by Mail: PO Box 7058, Merrifield, VA 22116

Donate Online: Here

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Friends of UNFPA (United Nations Populations Fund)

UNFPA Ebola Website

Email Contact

Donate by Mail: Visit Here

Donate Online: Here

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Gbowee Peace Foundation USA

Gbowee Peace Ebola Website

Email Contact

Donate by Mail:

Donate Online: Here

GivChildren-logo

Giving Children Hope

Giving Children Hope Ebola Website

Email Contact

Donate by Mail: N/A

Donate Online: Here

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Global Health Ministries

Global Health Ministries Ebola Website

Email Contact

Donate by Mail: N/A

Donate Online: Here

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Global Communities

Global Communities Ebola Website

Email Contact

Donate by Mail: 8601 Georgia Ave., Suite 800, Silver Spring, MD 20910

Donate Online: Here

GlobalGiv-logo

Global Giving

Global Giving Ebola Website

Email Contact

Donate by Mail: N/A

Donate Online: Here

IMA-logo

IMA World Health

IMA Ebola Website

Email Contact

Donate by Mail:

Donate Online: Here

IMC-logo

International Medical Corps

IMC Ebola Website

Email Contact

Donate by Mail: N/A

Donate Online: Here

IRC-logo

International Rescue Committee

DirectRelief Website

Email Contact

Donate by Mail: N/A

Donate Online: Here

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Jhpiego

Jhpiego Ebola Website

Email Contact

Donate by Mail: N/A

Donate Online: Here

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MAP International

MAP Ebola Website

Email Contact

Donate by Mail: N/A

Donate Online: Here

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MSH (Management Sciences for Health)

MSH Ebola Website

Email Contact

Donate by Mail: N/A

Donate Online: Here

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Med Sans Frontieres/Doctors Without Borders

Med Sans Ebola Website

Email Contact

Donate by Mail: View

Donate Online: Here

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Medical Teams International

Medical Teams International Ebola Website

Email Contact

Donate by Mail: Visit Here

Donate Online: Here

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MedShare

MedShare Ebola Website

Email Contact

Donate by Mail: N/A

Donate Online: Here

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NetHope

NetHope Ebola Website

Email Contact

Donate by Mail: N/A

Donate Online: Here

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Operation USA

Operation USA Ebola Website

Email Contact

Donate by Mail: N/A

Donate Online: Here

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Partners in Health

Partners in Health Ebola Website

Email Contact

Donate by Mail: N/A

Donate Online: Here

PCI-logo

PCI Global

PCI Global Ebola Website

Email Contact

Donate by Mail: N/A

Donate Online: Here

Plan-logo

Plan

Plan Ebola Website

Email Contact

Donate by Mail: N/A

Donate Online: Here

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Presbyterian Mission Agency

PMA Ebola Website

Email Contact

Donate by Mail: PO Box 643700, Pittsburgh, PA 15264-3700

Donate Online: Here

CURE-logo

Project C.U.R.E.

Project C.U.R.E. Ebola Website

Email Contact

Donate by Mail: N/A

Donate Online: Here

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Samaritan’s Purse

Samaritan’s Purse Ebola Website

Email Contact

Donate by Mail: N/A

Donate Online: Here

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Salesian Missions

Salesian Missions Ebola Website

Email Contact

Donate by Mail: N/A

Donate Online: Here

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Save The Children

Save The Children Ebola Website

Email Contact

Donate by Mail: 501 Kings Highway, suite 400 Fairfield, CT 06825

Donate Online: Here

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SIM USA

SIM USA Ebola Website

Email Contact

Donate by Mail: SIM – Ebola Crisis, PO Box 7900, Charlotte, NC 28241

Donate Online: Here

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Stop Hunger Now

Stop hunger Now Ebola Website

Email Contact

Donate by Mail: N/A

Donate Online: Here

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UC San Francisco

UC San Francisco Ebola Website

Email Contact

Donate by Mail: N/A

Donate Online: Here

Umcor-logo

UMCOR (United Methodist Committee on Relief)

UMCOR Ebola Website

Email Contact

Donate by Mail: PO Box 9068, New York, NY 10087-9068

Donate Online: Here

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Unicef

Unicef Ebola Website

Email Contact

Donate by Mail: N/A

Donate Online: Here

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Women’s Campaign International

WCI Ebola Website

Email Contact

Donate by Mail: N/A

Donate Online: Here

WFP-logo

World Food Programme USA (WFP)

World Food Programme Ebola Info

Email Contact

Donate by Mail: N/A

Donate Online: Here

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World Renew

World Renew Ebola Website

Email Contact

Donate by Mail: 1700 28th St. SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49508

Donate Online: Here

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World Vision

World Vision Ebola Website

Email Contact

Donate by Mail: N/A

Donate Online: Here

From FDR to Obama: Words Presidents Use to Wage War

Includes videos

President Obama’s address on Wednesday authorizing U.S. airstrikes against the Islamic State (a.k.a. ISIL or ISIS), was a sobering reminder of the immense power bestowed on the Commander in Chief to single-handedly order military action.

Like his address last September threatening the use of military force against the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad (a threat that never materialized),  Obama’s most recent speech was the latest in a long history of solemn presidential declarations of war and authorizations of lesser military action.

Since World War II, the United States’ increasingly large and powerful military has been quite busy, to say the least, consistently involved in conflicts around the world. In little over half a century, American forces have fought in five all-out wars (Korea, Vietnam, the first war in Iraq, Afghanistan and the second war in Iraq) and been involved in many additional smaller military invasions.

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How 9/11 Changed America: Four Major Lasting Impacts

Includes videos
Wikimedia Commons

Wikimedia Commons

Thirteen years ago the United States wasn’t officially engaged in any foreign wars. We deported half the number of people we do today. Our surveillance state was a mere fraction of its current size. And — hard as it might be to believe — getting through airport security didn’t involve removing your shoes.

America’s involvement in the War on Terror — spurred by the 9/11 terrorist attacks — resulted in changing attitudes and concerns about safety and vigilance, ushering in a new generation of policies like the USA Patriot Act that prioritized national security and defense, often at the expense of civil liberties. The changes have had ripple effects across the globe, particularly in the Middle East, where American military operations have influenced rebellions and unrest throughout the region.

Four of the most dramatic domestic transformations brought on by the events of 9/11 are detailed below.

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The Chilling Effect: Why San Francisco Gets So Foggy in the Summer

Includes video and interactives

Note: This post was originally published on May 20, 2014

“The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco.”

Mark Twain may never have actually said it himself, but that doesn’t make the statement any less true.  Continue reading

What is Inflation and Why Does it Happen? [An Animated Explainer]

Includes videos

Inflation. We hear about it an awful lot. But what’s it actually mean? What causes it? And why is grandpa always complaining about stuff getting more expensive? Stop motion guru Josh Kurz explains it all in this two-part video (you can also watch the whole thing as a single video here).

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World Cup Basics Explained Really Fast (Including the Slack Rules of Stoppage Time)

Includes video and interactive map

Correction: Several readers astutely pointed out that the map below of qualifying teams in the 2014 World Cup had inaccurately labeled Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland as part of the English national team. Big faux pas! While part of Great Britain, these three are undoubtedly distinct from England — which has already been ousted from the tournament. Each have their own national teams (none qualified for the Cup this year), and for reasons of historic and cultural rivalry, often support England’s opponents. The map’s boundaries have been updated accordingly. And to all you Scots, Welsh and residents of Northern Ireland (and their die-hard fans): mea culpa.

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How Chinese Memes Circumvented Censorship on Tiananmen Square Anniversary

Includes photo and video

UPDATE: The rubber duck meme was NOT censored this year (only in 2013). Even the most subversive memes, it turns out, have limited shelf life.

Yellow-rubber-duck-008

Tanks are replaced by giant ducks in this photoshopped version of the iconic Tienanmen Square image that was posted on a popular Chinese microblog last year before being removed by censors.

It’s safe to say it was the first time the term “Big Yellow Duck” had ever been censored.

But had you searched for it (in Chinese) on June 4 last year on Sina Weibo, China’s biggest microblog site, a message would tell you it couldn’t be shown “according to relevant laws, statutes and policies.”

So what gives?

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Old Enough to Drive, Too Young to Vote: Rethinking America’s Voting Age Limits

Includes videos

Flickr/Liz the Librarian

They all pay sales tax. They have to abide by the same laws as everyone else. And many are old enough to work and get behind the wheel. But for teenagers under 18, the right to vote remains elusive.

And that’s not fair say many student rights groups across the country who for years have pushed to lower America’s voting age to 16. In a nation with notoriously low levels of voter turnout, advocates argue, allowing more young people to vote would boost civic participation and give students a much needed voice.

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“Schoolhouse Rock” Revised: What it Really Takes to Pass A Bill in Congress

Includes videos and interactive chart

Remember that catchy “I’m Just a Bill” cartoon from the 1970s? For many of us, it was our first civics lesson (and introduction to bell-bottoms). But given the intense gridlock in today’s Congress — which will go down as one of the least productive in history — it’s fair to say that the lovable cartoon may have missed a few steps in explaining how laws are made. To fill in the gaps, the news explainer site Vox created a revised version for this era of congressional dysfunction. It’s modeled on the steps leading to the passage of the DATA Act, a recent bill that actually survived the gauntlet of Capital Hill.

[Article continues below videos]

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