Experts have warned that there is still a huge risk of Ebola spreading globally after treatment and burial targets were missed. Tony Banbury, head of the United Nations Ebola response mission, set targets of 70% of Ebola patients being in treatment and 70% of bodies promptly buried by December 1st.
Speaking in Freetown, Sierra Leone, he said:
“There is a huge risk to the world that Ebola will spread. It may spread around this sub-region, or someone could get on a plane to Asia, Latin America, North America or Europe… that is why it is so important to get down to zero cases as quickly as possible”. (source)
According to Sky News:
In Liberia, only 23% of cases are isolated and 26% of the needed burial teams are in place.
In Sierra Leone, around 40% of cases are isolated and 27% of burial teams are operational.
Only Guinea has met the targets set by the United Nations. Almost 7,000 people have now died from the disease. Although infection rates seem to have stabilized in some areas, Sierra Leone has seen a surge in cases over the last couple of weeks, particularly in and around the capital of Freetown.
Sebastian Funk, director of the Centre for the Mathematical Modelling of Infectious Diseases at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine said:
“You want to isolate 100 percent of patients with Ebola and have 100 percent safe burials”
“Getting to 70 percent doesn’t really mean a lot.” (source)
The U.S. announcing in November that it was cutting back on the number of treatment centers it planned to build in the affected areas has not helped the situation. The government cited the slowdown in cases. The fact is though, that until EVERY Ebola patient is isolated and either treated or buried appropriately the risk of global spread will remain.
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Chris Carrington is a writer, researcher and lecturer with a background in science, technology and environmental studies. Chris is an editor for The Daily Sheeple. Wake the flock up!