Liberia orders Ebola victims’ bodies to be cremated

Posted: August 4, 2014 in Uncategorized
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Source: BBC Africa

Liberia’s government has ordered that all bodies of people killed by the Ebola virus must be cremated.

The decision follows the refusal of some communities to allow the burial of Ebola victims on their land.

Ebola has claimed 728 lives in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone this year, the worst-ever outbreak.
It spreads by contact with infected blood and bodily fluids – and touching the body of someone who has died of Ebola is particularly dangerous.

A BBC correspondent in the capital, Monrovia, says cremation is not part of the culture in Liberia and health experts say burial ceremonies have played a role in the transmission of the virus.

Meanwhile, the US is planning to send at least 50 public health experts within the next 30 days to
help contain the outbreak.

“We do know how to stop Ebola,” said Thomas Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention, about the new US measures in an interview with ABC This Week.

“It’s old-fashioned plain and simple public health: Find the patients, make sure they get treated, find their contacts, track them, educate people, do
infection control in hospitals.”
There is no cure or vaccine for Ebola – but patients have a better chance of survival if they receive early treatment.

The current outbreak is killing between 50% and 60% of people infected.

Initial flu-like symptoms can lead to external haemorrhaging from areas like eyes and gums, and
internal bleeding which can lead to organ failure.

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