It is estimated that at least 20 percent of new infections occur during the burial process.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has issued guidelines on safe burial practices for Ebola victims. Safe burial practices are essential because the bodies and bodily fluids of deceased patients remain contagious for several days. If burial practices involve touching or washing the body, family and community members may be at risk.
Medical News Today reports that the guidelines aim to respect religious rites and allow for dignified burial, but to do so while ensuring safety. It is estimated that at least 20 percent of new infections occur during the burial process. The new WHO protocol targets not just medical staff, but anyone involved in the management of dead bodies and burial.
According to Today Health, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Dr. Thomas Frieden has stated that he believes there have been signs of progress in the fight against Ebola. The CDC has trained more than 4,000 health workers in Africa and more in the U.S. to help keep the epidemic at bay. In order to help curb its spread, the CDC is working with domestic and international partners. The CDC has also deployed a team of public health experts to West Africa.
The WHO states that Ebola is a severe acute viral illness often characterized by the sudden onset of fever, intense weakness, muscle pain, headache and sore throat. This is followed by vomiting, diarrhea, rash, impaired kidney and liver function, and in some cases, both internal and external bleeding. Treatment options, especially in Africa, are lacking. This contributes to its spread and mortality rate.