The death of a 15-year-old boy from Ebola in Liberia — a country that has been declared free of the disease twice — raises the question of why cases are still popping up in the country, experts say.
The teenager, who died Tuesday (Nov. 24), tested positive for the disease last week. His brother and father are also infected, and more than 150 people with whom the boy may have come into contact are now being monitored, according to Reuters.
“This is concerning and somewhat surprising,” said Dr. Amesh Adalja, an infectious-disease specialist and a senior associate at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center’s Center for Health Security.
“Surprising” ? My thoughts on the matter are this…
The discovery of live Ebola virus in the seminal fluid and within the eyes of human survivors, all declared ‘Ebola Free’ months ago shows, (in my opinion) that the long sought ‘reservoir’ of the virus is in fact the human body itself. Past outbreaks in the deep jungle (can we still say jungle or is that also now non-PC?) effected much smaller populations, victims in the hundreds (mostly) and survivors even fewer in number.
But in 2014-2015 that changed. Ebola reached the urban, highly populated cites on the West African coast. Total number of cases, unknown. Over forty thousand? Likely. Dead, almost thirty thousand acknowledged. Survivors of full blown cases, ten thousand? And where are they now? Traveling most likely. In Africa, cultural biases lead many to shun the survivors as ‘cursed’ or they might be zombies (I smell a Hollywood remake of George C. Scott’s film, “They might be Giants!“. ) Two new victims have already cropped up from secondary infections caused by close contact (a.k.a. exchange of body fluids) with ‘cured’ Ebola survivors. The spread of Ebola in last years outbreak was made worse by the local customs of families, mostly the women, preparing the bodies for burial. What happens to the bodies of survivors that die and then are handled by persons not using any barrier protection i.e. gloves, gowns and masks. Can the virus spread in the time after death as the immune system dies? Anyone studied the body of a Ebola survivor after death yet?
I’m afraid that we will find these answers soon, and here, in the worlds favorite destination.