Horror in Sierra Leone: A Single Spark Gives Ebola New Life

Saturday, December 13, 2014
By Paul Martin

By Maggie Fox
NBCNews.com
December 13th 2014

An especially deadly outbreak of Ebola burned unseen in a remote part of Sierra Leone for several weeks, giving public health experts a reality check. It’s also a perfect embodiment of the warning that they’ve been giving for months: that a single spark can set off a conflagration of disease and death.

It happened in Kono, a remote district bordering Guinea. World Health Organization workers heard rumors of deaths and traveled there to find scenes out of a horror movie. At least 87 people had died and been hastily buried, often without the precautions needed to stop the corpses from infecting the living.

“When we got there the staff at the hospital were exhausted,” said Winnie Romeril, a spokeswoman from WHO. “They had been working nonstop, trying to manage the large numbers of patients who came in.”

Romeril, who was with one of the WHO teams in Kono, said the sick and dying were flooding the small facility.

“Everybody was at wit’s end. They were just feeling defeated,” she told NBC News.

The Rest…HERE

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