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Ebola: Limitations of correcting misinformation

In this resource, members of the Ebola Response Anthropology Platform call on all organisations involved in the response to the Ebola outbreak to question the assumption that biomedicine must correct local logics and concerns, and the effectiveness of using standardised advice for non-standardised situations.

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Poor housing quality increases risk of rodent infestation and Lassa fever in refugee camps of Sierra Leone

To determine risk of Lassa fever in households in Sierra Leonean refugee camps, this paper analysed the spatial relationships between households with a Lassa case and focal locations of potential rodent habitats. Quality and hygiene factors of households were assessed to determine possible risk factors for household rodent infestation and occurrence of Lassa fever.

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Understanding the cryptic nature of Lassa fever in West Africa

In this article the authors give an overview of the current knowledge on Lassa fever (ecology, epidemiology and distribution) and the importance of future socio-ecological changes in the increase of Lassa fever burden.

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Using modelling to disentangle the relative contributions of zoonotic and anthroponotic transmission: The case of Lassa fever

The authors present the results of a modelling approach, using published data from outbreak and patients to Kenema governmental Hospital in Sierra Leone. They estimate the likely contribution to human to human transmission. They shed light on the need to better assess the human to human transmission.

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Shadowlands and dark corners: An anthropology of light and zoonosis

This paper outlines the importance of the house construction and the light for the human and rodent interactions in Upper Guinea (Guinea). To address this interspecies entanglements it is necessary to have in mind how darkness created by furniture and the house design can expand the activity of the animal and the persistence of virus in surfaces. It also highlights the difficulty to localize the trapping of small rodents by kids.

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Rat-Atouille: A mixed method study to characterize rodent hunting and consumption in the context of Lassa fever

This paper investigated the consumption of rodents, including the reservoir species of Lassa fever, and found this is widespread and does not neatly tally against generational or gender lines. Further, it found that the reasons for rodent consumption are multifactorial, including taste preferences, food security, and opportunistic behaviour.

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On the origin of Ebola: Biomedical discourse versus popular interpretations in Macenta in Guinea

This resource describes the use of participative observation, informal conversations and in-depth interviews to identify rumours surrounding Ebola, their sources, and to understand the local population’s perception and knowledge about the history and origin of the Ebola outbreak in Guinea. 

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Popular concerns about medical research projects in sub-Saharan Africa – a critical voice in debates about medical research ethics

This resource aims to move beyond the dismissal of stories about blood-stealing and trade in body parts as ‘mere’ rumour, based on erroneous belief or traditional superstition, and to instead appreciate them as modern commentaries on social relations that involve, and extend far beyond, scientific medical research.

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Speaking with vampires: Rumor and history in colonial Africa

This book presents and interprets vampire stories from East and Central Africa as a way of understanding the world as the storytellers did. Using gossip and rumour as historical sources in their own right, it assesses the place of such evidence, oral and written, in historical reconstruction.

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Risk maps of Lassa fever in West Africa

With the aim of gaining more information to control this disease, this paper carries out a spatial analysis of Lassa fever data from human cases and infected rodent hosts covering the period 1965–2007. 

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