Churches across West Africa have introduced special measures to help prevent Catholics contracting ebola at Mass. Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone are worst affected by the epidemic, which has claimed almost 5,000 lives.
Bishops are urging priests to have someone stand with a bucket of water and disinfectant by church entrances and meeting places so that people can wash their hands. They are also urging people to avoid large gatherings and not hug or shake hands at the Sign of Peace during Mass. Communion wafers are being placed on the hand rather than the tongue.
Meanwhile in the United States a bishop has revealed he made diocesan accommodation available to the family of the first ebola victim diagnosed in the country. Bishop Kevin Farrell of Dallas provided a retreat house as a quarantine facility for four people who had been in contact with Thomas Eric Duncan, including his fiancée, Louise Troh. After their 21-day quarantine period the four showed no signs of disease.