Via The Independent in Ireland: Liberia cremating bodies without testing for Ebola. Click through for the full report and a video. Excerpt:
Liberia's government is cremating the remains of possible Ebola victims without testing whether they have the virus, leaving relations unaware if they may be at risk of the disease as well.
Current guidelines to stop the spread of the outbreak in west Africa recommend that anyone who dies from an unconfirmed illness be tested for Ebola before the body is disposed of.
This would help health officials to monitor the number of fatalities, and a positive result means the virus may well have been passed on to friends and relations. But, such is the chaos in Liberia's health service, ministry of health undertakers are being instructed simply to take them directly for cremation.
When a reporter accompanied one such team on their collection duties last week in the Liberian capital, Monrovia, the four bodies collected were driven straight to the crematorium at the nearby town of Marshall.
This was despite the fact that some of the families who reported the corpses for collection had done so in the specific expectation that medical tests would be carried out.
The gap in the protocols has alarmed aid agencies, which say it risks fostering a false sense of security among victims' relations, many of whom are reluctant to admit that a loved one may have died from the disease anyway.
"It is very important to keep a record of who has actually died from Ebola and who hasn't, because without reliable data, it is very difficult to assess the spread of the disease," said Lindis Hurum, emergency coordinator with Medecins Sans Frontieres in Liberia.