An exhibition on the fight to stem the 2014-16 Ebola outbreak in West Africa developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will reach a wider audience through the Internet, thanks to a local university collaboration.
Georgia State and Emory University students across various disciplines worked together to translate the “EBOLA: People + Public Health + Political Will” exhibition from the physical form as presented at the CDC in 2017 into a new online format.
GSU students in historic preservation, public health and biology digitized and mapped 175 oral histories, created 3D artifacts and helped organize photos, finding lessons for today’s global pandemic response in the cases of Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone, which bore the brunt of epidemic that killed more than 11,000 people.
Contact tracing and quarantine, terms that are en vogue today as the world aims to stop the spread of COVID-19, were employed in combating the highly contagious virus that proved fatal for more than one out of every three people who contracted it.
Emory students from the Rollins School of Public Health contributed to an interactive timeline tracking how the international community worked with nonprofits and health ministries in each country to get the epidemic under control.
During the outbreak, the CDC and Emory were thrust into the national spotlight for their involvement treating American doctors who were repatriated to Atlanta after becoming infected while caring for patients in Liberia.
Educators from both universities pointed to the unique challenge of digitizing an in-person exhibition as an experience that students wouldn’t have gotten inside the classroom.