It has been a year since the Ebola outbreak claimed the lives of innocent people living in the villages of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.
A year ago, a brave Dr Stephane Hugonnet embarked on a trip to Guinea to investigate and diagnose the cause of a series of unexplained deaths in the region. Little did he know that the case would lead to a deadly outbreak that would quickly spread from the tiny village, to borderlands and then around the world.
The Ebola outbreak has claimed the lives of at least 10,000 people. It has infected more than 24,000 people within a year. The virus will continually thrive and kill people because of weak public sanitation in Africa and a slow global response. In order to respond effectively, we need to go back to where it all began.
The origin of the virus
Ebola’s first victim was a 2 year old boy, Emile Ouamouno, from a rainforest village in Guinea. He contracted the disease in December 2013. How he got the virus is still unclear. One thing is certain though, the Ebola can spread through direct contact with infected tissues and fluids. A month after the boy got terminally sick; the virus also took the life of his sister, mother and grandmother.
From the small village, the virus spread sporadically across West Africa and before anyone could stop it, it has already claimed the lives of thousands of people in the African soil and it gripped the world with fear.
Ebola spreads across continents
In July last year, the first American died contracting the disease in Liberia. People were fearful that the disease would spread across continents. It did. International flights carried the disease to the US, Spain and Arabian Peninsula.
In August, a businessman who did some business dealings in Sierra Leone died in a hospital in Saudi Arabia. Five days later, another life was claimed in Madrid. A month later, his brother died.
On September, a Liberian flew to Dallas to visit friends and relatives. He was unknowingly exposed to the deadly virus and became the first person to be diagnosed of Ebola in US. He died after a few days.
The Ebola outbreak is unforgiving in West Africa. The virus orphaned at least 3,700 children in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone. Relatives would not want to take the children in for fear that they have contracted the disease.
Ebola continues to destroy human lives and relationships a year later since the little boy from Guinea died.