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Response To Sierra Leone’s Ebola Outbreak Prevented 40K Deaths; Earlier Action Might Have Saved Thousands More, Study Says

News outlets report on a study examining the impact of Ebola control measures in Sierra Leone, which was released Monday by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

BBC News: Ebola beds prevented 40,000 deaths
“The global response to the Ebola crisis in Sierra Leone helped avert 40,000 deaths but if aid had been offered sooner, thousands more lives there might have been saved, say researchers…” (Roberts, 10/13).

HealthDay: Response in Sierra Leone to Ebola Outbreak Saved 40,000 Lives: Study
“…The opening of new Ebola centers helped isolate sick people and prevented an estimated 57,000 new Ebola cases and 40,000 deaths in Sierra Leone, the new research says. But, the researchers also estimated that if the centers had been introduced just one month earlier, an additional 12,500 reported and unreported cases could have been prevented…” (Thompson, 10/12).

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Earlier bed delivery could have halved Sierra Leone Ebola outbreak: experts
“… ‘Our findings show the unprecedented local and international response led to a substantial decline in Ebola transmission,’ said report lead author Adam Kucharski, lecturer in infectious disease epidemiology at the [London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM)]. ‘However, if more support and resources had been available earlier, it could have made a big difference in reducing the terrible toll this outbreak has taken on communities and health workers,’ Kucharski told the Thomson Reuters Foundation…” (Guilbert, 10/13).

Washington Post: Thousands died because Ebola treatment beds reached Sierra Leone too late, study finds
“…The authors acknowledged that calculating exactly how many lives the additional beds saved in Sierra Leone amounts to a bit of a guessing game. That’s partly because large-scale contributions from governments and global health organizations happened alongside an array of other efforts on the ground…” (Dennis, 10/13).

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