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    • Anne Rimoin surrounded by children

Weighing In On Risk - Anne Rimoin

Thursday, June 27, 2013
Illustration by WSJ of Anne RimoinAnne W. Rimoin

"When your life's work is studying emerging infectious diseases in the remote jungles of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, risk is relative. My family, friends and colleagues often ask me, 'Aren't you scared about contracting a disease?' The truth is I am not particularly worried about catching a virus while investigating cases of monkeypox or viral hemorrhagic fevers, because I am extremely careful and take the necessary precautions to protect my team and myself. I am much more concerned about the dangers associated with driving or flying in the Congo, which has one of the worst accident records in the world. Unfortunately, the places that require the most risk to access are generally also those where the need for public health assistance is the greatest. For me, the possibility of stopping the next pandemic before it starts is well worth the risk."

—Rimoin is an associate professor of epidemiology at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health.