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Safe Burial Teams Likely Prevented Significant Number Of Additional Ebola Cases In West African Outbreak, Study Shows

Agence France-Presse: Ebola burial teams dramatically reduced West Africa outbreak: study
“Red Cross volunteers prevented a significant number of Ebola cases during the 2013-2016 epidemic in West Africa by using safe burial techniques, according to a study released Thursday…” (Larson, 6/22).

BBC News: Ebola virus burial teams may have ‘saved thousands of lives’
“…The study, published in the PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases journal, used statistical modeling to measure the impact of the Red Cross safe and dignified burial program. Researchers focused on 45 unsafe community burials and the 310 people who were identified as having had contact with the infected bodies. They found, on average, just over two people went on to develop Ebola for every unsafe community burial that took place…” (Mazumdar, 6/22).

PLOS Research News: From the Frontline: How unsafe burials impact Ebola transmission
“…[As a senior technical adviser in the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, Amanda McClelland’s] work during the Ebola outbreak won her the Florence Nightingale Medal for exceptional courage in 2015. It also brought home the importance of burial practices in reducing Ebola transmission, and Amanda is publishing a study in the journal on the impact of unsafe burial of Ebola victims during the epidemic. I interviewed her about her experiences and her research…” (Jones, 6/22).

VOA News: Red Cross: Safe Burial Practices Helped Prevent Spread of Ebola in West Africa
“…McClelland says the Red Cross had to change its approach in dealing with communities that adhered to traditional burial practices. Aid workers stopped talking about management of the remains and instead spoke about safe and dignified burials, she said. … This action, McClelland said, may have prevented more than 10,000 people from becoming infected with the virus…” (Schlein, 6/23).

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