CORVALLIS, Ore. (CBS Seattle) – According to a recent study, Ebola could be contained by the March.
In order for this to happen, the study suggests that steps be taken in West Africa, including changes to customary funeral proceedings.
Researchers from Oregon State University, Yale University, and the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare in Liberia concluded that hygienic funeral practices, case isolation, contact tracing with quarantines and better protection for healthcare workers are the keys to stopping the Ebola epidemic.
“Changes in funerals are the most important factor,” Jan Medlock, an assistant professor in the OSU Department of Biomedical Sciences, told KPTV. Medlock is also an expert in mathematical epidemiology and evolution of infectious disease.
“These funeral practices often included washing, touching, and kissing of bodies that were still capable of spreading the Ebola virus,” Medlock added. “It is imperative that funeral transmission be stopped, and also that we take other aggressive steps to isolate cases and better protect healthcare workers.”
The study concluded by saying that aggressive approaches used a t a high level of efficiency could lead to the control of Ebola in Liberia by mid-March 2015.
The researchers predict that continuing the status quo of intervention efforts would expand the current cases of Ebola to around 224 daily in Liberia by December 1.
The report was published in the journal Science.