NOVOSIBIRSK, October 25 (RIA Novosti) - Tough measures including army deployment are needed to prevent the spread of the Ebola virus globally from the West African countries battling the disease, Vice-principal of Novosibirsk State University for Research, corresponding member of RAS, and Doctor of Biological Sciences, Sergei Netyosov told RIA Novosti Saturday.
Netyosov told RIA Novosti that the army must quarantine infected areas as if "they are guarding a rocket."
"Otherwise, it is impossible. International organizations cannot do this, they do not have the right. This can only be done by the National Guard. Recommendations for quarantines, closed funerals, no contact with patients and work clothes have been made a long time ago," Netyosov added.
According to the scientist, the spread of the Ebola virus is largely due to the traditions and customs of African people. The expert also noted that one of the main reasons for the Ebola outbreak was the fact that locals eat the meat from bats, the main carriers of the disease.
"If we leave everything as it is, for example, the funeral rites as they are, it [Ebola] will spread further. In fact, you need deliberate human intervention in this situation. Measures must be quite tough to stop all this," Netyosov told reporters.
The scientist claimed the infection of an African sorceress by the virus was the the basis for the current Ebola epidemic.
"A known sorceress treated several patients for an illness we now know was Ebola. She caught the virus herself from them. A mass of people attended her funeral. And because she was regarded like a saint, people said goodbye to her body in the closest way which infected at least 350 people," Netyosov explained.
Netyosov also added that the first case of Ebola in Africa related to the current epidemic took place in December 2013, however, the government had not paid attention to the disease, and doctors were only able to take samples of the virus in patients in March. According to the scientist, this delay was another factor contributing to this year's massive Ebola outbreak.
The Ebola virus is transmitted through direct contact with the bodily fluids of those infected. The current Ebola outbreak began in southern Guinea in the beginning of this year and is the largest epidemic of the virus to date.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 4,877 people have died of the Ebola virus, while some 9,936 confirmed, probable and suspected cases have been reported in Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Spain and the United States. Mali confirmed its first case of Ebola on Thursday of a child who contracted the disease in Guinea and died on Friday.
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