When it comes to Ebola, it's not that the international community wasn't warned, it's just that nobody was paying attention.
In the nearly seven months since the Ebola outbreak was originally confirmed in Guinea, the NGO Doctors Without Borders has been pleading for the world to act. Doctors Without Borders was the first and one of the only organizations on the ground in West Africa through the initial outbreak and subsequent epidemic. But up until recently, their calls for help went largely unanswered.
Now, as Ebola continues to claim lives and spreads to new countries, the international community is asking itself an uncomfortable question: Could Ebola have been contained if it was addressed in a more timely manner?
Of course, there were many factors at play in the spread of Ebola: the lack of medical infrastructure in the countries initially affected, burial practices that often involve significant physical contact with the dead and the inability to sufficiently monitor those affected. But Doctors Without Borders has been expressing alarm about the epidemic for months.
Below, you'll find a timeline of repeated calls to action and warnings issued around Ebola as the disease continued to spread: