Obama urges Africans to avoid touching Ebola corpses

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A key international doctors group is warning that the world is ‘losing the battle’ against Ebola and U.N. officials are imploring all countries to step up their response by sending help to affected countries.

Doctors Without Borders President Joanne Liu says her organization is completely overwhelmed as it treats Ebola patients in four West African countries. She is calling on countries with biological disaster response capacity to respond with civilian and military medical personnel.

“Six months into the worse Ebola epidemic in history, the world is losing the battle to contain it,” Liu said at a United Nations forum on the outbreak. “Ebola treatment centers are reduced to places where people go to die alone, where little more than palliative care is offered.”

On Tuesday, President Barack Obama delivered a message to Africans via the State Department, urging them to take precautions, and most importantly, don’t touch the dead.

“When burying someone who has died from this terrible disease, it’s important to not directly touch their body,” Obama said. “You can respect your traditions and honor your loved ones without risking the lives of the living.”

More than 1,500 have died so far from Ebola in Liberia, Guinea, Sierra Leone and Nigeria.

“The most common way you can get Ebola is by touching the body fluids of someone who is sick or who has died from it,” Obama said. “Like their sweat, saliva, or blood. Or through a contaminated item like a needle.”


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