The relationship between conspiracy beliefs and compliance with public health guidance with regard to COVID-19. 2020. (accessed 14 May 2020)

Boulton J. Ebola revisited: lessons in managing global epidemics. Br J Nurs. 2015; 24:(13)665-669

WHO Director-general's speech at the sixty-eighth World Health Assembly. 2015. (accessed 14 May 2020)

Huang C, Wang Y, Li X Clinical features of patients infected with 2019 novel coronavirus in Wuhan, China. Lancet. 2020; 395:(10223)497-506

The Chinese doctor who tried to warn others about coronavirus. 2020. (accessed 14 May 2020)

The eye of the storm. ethical challenges at the front line of an Ebola outbreak. 2014. (accessed 14 May 2020)

Petherick A Ebola in west Africa: learning the lessons. Lancet. 2015; 385:(9968)591-592

Royal College of Nursing. RCN letter to Sarah Albon. 2020. (accessed 14 May 2020)

Royal College of Nursing. Safe and effective staffing: nursing against the odds. 2017. (accessed 14 May 2020)

We're all in this together

28 May 2020
2 min read
Volume 29 · Issue 10

On 13 March 2020 the pre-planned title of my lecture on the global health module aimed at student nurses was ‘What lessons can we learn from the West African Ebola outbreak?’ In the background, however, the rumblings of the growing storm, by then named COVID-19, could not simply be ignored. Although a very clear distinction needs to be made between the characteristics and contexts of these two viruses, I was struck by some remarkable similarities. At the time of the 2015 Ebola outbreak, with which I had some personal involvement (Boulton, 2015), the challenge of containment was strongly attributed to the poor healthcare system, lack of education and pervading culture in the countries affected (Chan, 2015). Surely, if the UK ever faced a sudden onslaught of a highly infective disease things would be very different? Or would they? The title of my lecture was hastily expanded to ‘What lessons can be learned from the West African Ebola epidemic … and what resonance can we see with COVID-19?’

Register now to continue reading

Thank you for visiting British Journal of Nursing and reading some of our peer-reviewed resources for nurses. To read more, please register today. You’ll enjoy the following great benefits:

What's included

  • Limited access to clinical or professional articles

  • Unlimited access to the latest news, blogs and video content