4 months to contain Ebola: Red Cross chief

2014-10-22 16:56
A screen grab of Elhadj As Sy during a presentation. (YouTube)

A screen grab of Elhadj As Sy during a presentation. (YouTube)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories


Ebola decrease in Sierra Leone community where outbreak started

2014-10-22 09:04

We speak to MSF epidemiologist, Gem Patten, about her findings while working in an Ebola affected community in Sierra Leone. Watch.WATCH

Beijing - The Ebola epidemic will take at least four months to contain even if all necessary steps are taken, the global head of the Red Cross said on Wednesday, warning of "the price for inaction".

The deadliest-ever outbreak of the haemorrhagic fever has claimed more than 4 500 lives in West Africa, and experts warn the rate of infections could reach 10 000 a week by early December.

There is no licensed vaccine or cure for Ebola, which has also spread in several isolated cases among health workers in Spain and the United States.

Elhadj As Sy, chief of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, listed a range of measures which would help bring Ebola under control, including "good isolation, good treatment of cases which are confirmed, good, safe and dignified burials of deceased people".

"It will be possible, as it was possible in the past, to contain this epidemic within four to six months" if the response is adequate, he added.

"I think that is our best prospect and we our doing everything possible to mobilise our resources and our capacities to do so."

Speaking at an Asia-Pacific IFRC conference, he added: "There is always a price for inaction".

New measures will be rolled out in the US on Wednesday which will see passengers arriving in the country from Ebola-hit Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea funnelled into five airports with extra health checks.

But experts writing in The Lancet on Tuesday said that screening air travellers on departure was a better option than monitoring them when they arrive abroad.

Sy said he did not "have a strong opinion" on the issue, as long as "it gives people a sense of peace of mind, and they have the means to do it".

Read more on:    red cross  |  liberia  |  ebola

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.