SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 25, 2016

Ebola treatment beds help fight virus

Ebola treatment beds help fight virus. | Courtesy of waterandhealth.org
According to a report from the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Ebola treatment beds have prevented an estimated 57,000 Ebola cases as well as 40,000 deaths in Sierra Leone.

The Ebola treatment beds served to increase the available beds that effectively isolated the people with Ebola. This stopped the virus from spreading to people throughout the community. The beds also changed behavior for people who were suspected to have Ebola, as they sought earlier treatment. In addition, the beds made Ebola burials significantly safer.

"Our findings show the unprecedented local and international response led to a substantial decline in Ebola transmission,” Lead author Dr. Adam Kucharski, lecturer on infectious disease epidemiology at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, said. “Given the rapid growth of the outbreak in Sierra Leone, if those beds hadn't been in place to isolate the ill and avert further infections, the epidemic could have been much worse."

An analysis from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine further states that implementing these beds one month earlier could have reduced the Ebola outbreak by 50 percent.

"There has been much criticism of the international community's slow response to the Ebola outbreak,” the study's co-author, John Edmunds of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, said. “Our analysis suggests putting treatment beds in place just one month earlier could have further reduced the size of the outbreak and potentially saved thousands of more lives. The way we prepare for, and respond to, future outbreaks of Ebola and other infectious diseases needs to be strengthened."

Organizations in this story

London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine Keppel Street London WC1E 7HT UK ,

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