Report: U.S. Company Bungled Ebola Response

The San Francisco-based infectious-disease investigators Metabiota Inc. is being accused of allegedly contributing to misdiagnosing Ebola cases and incorrectly reading the virus’s trajectory in Western Africa. The company was tapped in March 2014 by the World Health Organization and the Sierra Leonean government to help monitor the spread of the virus after it was found to have spread to Guinea. According to an Associated Press report, the company’s actions worsened an already chaotic situation. For example: In a July 17, 2014, email about “total confusion” at the Metabiota lab that was shared with Tulane University researchers in the city of Kenema, WHO outbreak expert Dr. Eric Bertherat wrote that there was “no tracking of the samples” and “absolutely no control on what is being done.” The report claims that complaints about Metabiota are just a small piece of the larger total mismanagement that followed the latest outbreak of Ebola, which killed upward of 11,000 people.