'Unnecessary' respiratory infection controls heighten ebola panic: Lancet

A new study has found that excessive respiratory infection precautions for ebola patients are "uncomfortable and unaffordable" and also contributes to public panic.

London: A new study has found that excessive respiratory infection precautions for ebola patients are "uncomfortable and unaffordable" and also contributes to public panic.

According to the authors, the deadly virus is rarely transmitted through via airborne routes, but most agencies responsible for repatriating patients are applying infection control measures appropriate for airborne diseases, which might contribute to the panic in some communities.

The letter also mentions that the excessive control measures adopted by most health agencies to deal with the Ebola epidemic in west Africa are unnecessary, expensive, uncomfortable and unaffordable for countries that are the most affected, and may cause panic and lead people to flee affected areas, which could increase the spread of infection.

The authors of the letter, Professor Jose M. Martin-Moreno and his colleagues from the University of Valencia in Spain, said that in control of infectious diseases, more is not necessarily better and, very often, the simplest answer is the best.

They added that now there is a need for rational and efficient use of protective equipment in western Africa and this can only be achieved by communicating a consistent message that the disease is essentially transmitted through direct contact.

The letter was published in The Lancet.

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