Interview with Hans G. Andersson, Editor, Outbreak
What were your motivations for working on OUTBREAK?
I'm a journalist and former filmmaker. I've been focusing on health and
environmental issues since I was 17-18 years old.
I prefer to work with questions that are challenging and not always
comfortable. When I started to write about Ebola I was quite scared. I'm
still having a healthy respect for Ebola, but I'm not that scared any
I believe that it's important to cover emerging infectious diseases, and
to inform people about health threats and risks in a responsible way.
What do you think of the media's coverage of Ebola and Marburg?
Well, I don't like it, except for Laurie Garrett and a few others that are
doing a really good job.
I think the media's coverage of Ebola and Marburg is as bad as the
coverage of Bill Clinton's "sex affairs". It's a focus on sensation and
I don't like media story's with headlines like "The Killer Virus Is
Here!", and the method to put "lethal" and "deadly" in front of the words
virus and bacteria every time you mention them.
I think the infectious disease reality is serious enough. We don't need
Where do you think future research on these viruses should go?
1. Finding the reservoir.
2. Finding a cure or a vaccine.
3. More basic knowledge about how these viruses works.
I think the CDC, USAMRIID, Pasteur Institute and WHO are doing an
excellent job, often with very limited resources. I also admire the
researchers behind the new experimental vaccine.