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Social pathways for Ebola virus disease in rural Sierra Leone, and some implications for containment.

Richards P, Amara J, Ferme MC, Kamara P, Mokuwa E, Sheriff AI, Suluku R, Voors M - PLoS Negl Trop Dis (2015)

Bottom Line: Funerals are known to be a high-risk factor for infection.A concluding discussion relates the information presented to plans for halting the disease.Local consultation and access are seen as major challenges to be addressed.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: School of Environmental Sciences, Njala University, Njala University Campus, Njala, Sierra Leone.

ABSTRACT
The current outbreak of Ebola Virus Disease in Upper West Africa is the largest ever recorded. Molecular evidence suggests spread has been almost exclusively through human-to-human contact. Social factors are thus clearly important to understand the epidemic and ways in which it might be stopped, but these factors have so far been little analyzed. The present paper focuses on Sierra Leone, and provides cross sectional data on the least understood part of the epidemic-the largely undocumented spread of Ebola in rural areas. Various forms of social networking in rural communities and their relevance for understanding pathways of transmission are described. Particular attention is paid to the relationship between marriage, funerals and land tenure. Funerals are known to be a high-risk factor for infection. It is suggested that more than a shift in awareness of risks will be needed to change local patterns of behavior, especially in regard to funerals, since these are central to the consolidation of community ties. A concluding discussion relates the information presented to plans for halting the disease. Local consultation and access are seen as major challenges to be addressed.

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Related in: MedlinePlus

Confirmed Ebola cases by district.Ministry of Health and Sanitation, Situation Report 17 December 2014 (S1 Dataset and S2 Dataset). Figure plots all confirmed Ebola cases by district as of 17 December 2014, and main rivers and roads.
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pntd.0003567.g001: Confirmed Ebola cases by district.Ministry of Health and Sanitation, Situation Report 17 December 2014 (S1 Dataset and S2 Dataset). Figure plots all confirmed Ebola cases by district as of 17 December 2014, and main rivers and roads.

Mentions: In this paper we offer some data and observations relating to the Sierra Leone epidemic (Fig 1). If human-to-human contact is the main mode of transmission attention needs to be paid to underlying social factors. The paper is divided into three sections. A case-study based scenario for the spread of EVD in Sierra Leone is described (based on interviews and direct observations). We propose that greater attention should be paid to rural buffers for the disease. We then identify and explain the role of processes related to marriage, land and burials significant for spread of the disease. A concluding discussion considers what assistance might be necessary if rural communities are to reduce transmission rates.


Social pathways for Ebola virus disease in rural Sierra Leone, and some implications for containment.

Richards P, Amara J, Ferme MC, Kamara P, Mokuwa E, Sheriff AI, Suluku R, Voors M - PLoS Negl Trop Dis (2015)

Confirmed Ebola cases by district.Ministry of Health and Sanitation, Situation Report 17 December 2014 (S1 Dataset and S2 Dataset). Figure plots all confirmed Ebola cases by district as of 17 December 2014, and main rivers and roads.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4401769&req=5

pntd.0003567.g001: Confirmed Ebola cases by district.Ministry of Health and Sanitation, Situation Report 17 December 2014 (S1 Dataset and S2 Dataset). Figure plots all confirmed Ebola cases by district as of 17 December 2014, and main rivers and roads.
Mentions: In this paper we offer some data and observations relating to the Sierra Leone epidemic (Fig 1). If human-to-human contact is the main mode of transmission attention needs to be paid to underlying social factors. The paper is divided into three sections. A case-study based scenario for the spread of EVD in Sierra Leone is described (based on interviews and direct observations). We propose that greater attention should be paid to rural buffers for the disease. We then identify and explain the role of processes related to marriage, land and burials significant for spread of the disease. A concluding discussion considers what assistance might be necessary if rural communities are to reduce transmission rates.

Bottom Line: Funerals are known to be a high-risk factor for infection.A concluding discussion relates the information presented to plans for halting the disease.Local consultation and access are seen as major challenges to be addressed.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: School of Environmental Sciences, Njala University, Njala University Campus, Njala, Sierra Leone.

ABSTRACT
The current outbreak of Ebola Virus Disease in Upper West Africa is the largest ever recorded. Molecular evidence suggests spread has been almost exclusively through human-to-human contact. Social factors are thus clearly important to understand the epidemic and ways in which it might be stopped, but these factors have so far been little analyzed. The present paper focuses on Sierra Leone, and provides cross sectional data on the least understood part of the epidemic-the largely undocumented spread of Ebola in rural areas. Various forms of social networking in rural communities and their relevance for understanding pathways of transmission are described. Particular attention is paid to the relationship between marriage, funerals and land tenure. Funerals are known to be a high-risk factor for infection. It is suggested that more than a shift in awareness of risks will be needed to change local patterns of behavior, especially in regard to funerals, since these are central to the consolidation of community ties. A concluding discussion relates the information presented to plans for halting the disease. Local consultation and access are seen as major challenges to be addressed.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus