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Lancet Infectious Diseases Publication Warns of ‘Catastrophic Toll’ of Current Ebola Policy

Oct. 26, 2014 (EIRNS)—Lancet Infectious Diseases, the prestigious London-based medical journal, on Oct. 24 published a summary of a new study warning that current policies will not "avert a catastrophic toll of Ebola cases and deaths." A team of medical doctors and Ph.D.s has just published a study on the dynamics of the spread of Ebola virus disease (EVD) in Montserrado County, Liberia, using a mathematical transmission model based on three policy variables: new EVD treatment centers; case ascertainment through contact tracing; and household protective kits. The experts reached the following conclusion:

"The number of beds at EVD treatment centers needed to effectively control EVD in Montserrado substantially exceeds the 1,700 pledged by the USA to West Africa. Accelerated case ascertainment is needed to maximize effectiveness of expanding the capacity of EVD treatment centers. Distributing protective kits can further augment prevention of EVD, but it is not an adequate stand-alone measure for controlling the outbreak. Our findings highlight the rapidly closing window of opportunity for controlling the outbreak and averting a catastrophic toll of EVD cases and deaths."

It is noteworthy that even the inadequate policy of the Obama administration—of building seventeen 100-bed treatment units in West Africa—is way behind schedule. A Pentagon public affairs officer told EIRNS this week that only the first 10 units will be built by mid-December.