Scientists in Sussex awarded grant from US Government to fight Ebola

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Scientists at the University of Brighton have been awarded $140,000 by the US Agency for International Development to research ways to reduce the transmission of Ebola.

Academics in the School of Environment and Technology will working with colleagues at Tufts University in Boston.

Professor Huw Taylor, the university’s Professor of Microbial Ecology, said:

The current outbreak in West Africa wasn’t the first and it won’t be the last. It taught us we weren’t prepared and so we welcome this new investment in research.

Professor Taylor is working closely to combat the spread of Ebola with the World Health Organisation which has recorded more than 27,000 cases of Ebola and over 11,000 deaths in Sierra Leone, Liberia, Nigeria, the US and Mali.

The WHO says the epidemic appears to have stabilised but spikes in new cases in Sierra Leone remains a major concern.
Left to right: Dr James Ebdon, Professor Huw Taylor, Emanuele Sozzi
Dr James Ebdon, Professor Huw Taylor and Emanuele Sozzi
Professor Taylor and Dr James Ebdon will be contributing expert knowledge on human waste disinfection.

Our expertise in emergency sanitation has grown rapidly in recent years following our work in Haiti with Médecins Sans Frontières in response to the devastating 2010 earthquake and subsequent cholera outbreak.  This led the WHO to seek our advice last year on appropriate sanitation responses to the Ebola epidemic in West Africa and, as a result, USAID is now asking us to fill some important knowledge gaps in emergency sanitation and hygiene practice.

This has been very much a team effort and the valuable contribution of PhD student Emanuele Sozzi has been pivotal to the success of our work.

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