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Liberian communities refuse burials of Ebola victims

Sunday, August 03, 2014 - 01:37

Aug.3 - While hospital morgues in Liberia are filled with the bodies of Ebola victims, villagers afraid of contracting the disease refuse to have the dead buried. Sarah Toms reports.

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Friends and families come to this morgue in the Liberian capital to collect their loved ones bodies. The bodies of 21 of the latest Ebola victims are being taken to a burial site. More than 700 people in West Africa have died from the deadly disease. Ebola is highly contagious and kills up to 90 per cent of people infected. It's a long, slow journey as stringent procedures must be observed to keep the bodies isolated. Specialists say the point of death is the time when a body is most infectious. Health workers are taking no chances and wear protective suits. (SOUNDBITE)(English) RITA ROSE IRLAND, FAMILY MEMBER OF EBOLA VICTIM, SAYING: "Ebola is here, we need to be very careful. We shouldn't be in a state of denial." But suspicions, superstitions and fear are rife in the Liberian capital. Their appearance frightens locals. Villagers don't want the dead buried here as they're afraid they'll catch the disease, which has no known cure. Soldiers were deployed at the site to ensure that the burial went ahead....eventually a concensus is agreed. The bodies would be buried. But as a digger starts to make a grave, it becomes stuck in the mud. The trucks filled with bodies have no option but to wait by the side of the road. Without proper education about Ebola and the right tools to combat it, officials will not be able to contain the disease and prevent it from spreading.

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Liberian communities refuse burials of Ebola victims

Sunday, August 03, 2014 - 01:37