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Disasters & Accidents

Ebola Containment Should Focus On Funeral Practices And Patient Isolation, OSU Study Says

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CBS Local website.
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Hygienic funeral and patient isolation practices are key factors to ending Ebola in West Africa. That's according to a study published by an Oregon State University researcher.

The study says current containment practices will likely cause the disease to continue to expand by more than 200 cases in Liberia by December. Jan Medlock teaches Biomedical Sciences at OSU. He says the disease is most contagious around the time of death, which means hygienic funeral practices are essential to preventing further infections.

Medlock: "There are protocols to sterilize a body that involve things like washing the body in bleach and so it's not just cremating the bodies, it's actually cleaning the bodies so that it can have an actual burial with a greatly reduced risk to the people who attend the funeral." 

Medlock says traditional funeral practices in West Africa usually involve washing the body with soaps, touching, and kissing the deceased. This is a prime breeding ground for spreading Ebola. Medlock recommends a 3 part 60 percent rule. This includes (60%) sanitary burials, (60%) isolating patients and (60%) isolating the people they have come in contact with. Medlock says following this strategy could end Ebola in West Africa in five months.

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