The number of Ebola cases in Guinea continues to edge higher. As of December 20th, almost 1600 people had died in the country and there were almost 2600 cases. The outbreak began in Guinea a year ago. But some of the worst-hit regions have only now set up treatment centers. CCTV America’s Stephanie Freid reported this story from Nzérékoré city.
Alima Ebola Treatment center is the only facility for the one million people who live in this forest region, in south-eastern Guinea. There are 40 beds, half of them are occupied. Theresa and her husband Sekoma are here to visit Theresa’s brother Adam.
“We did everything we could, ” the center physician informed them upon Adam’s death. Theresa has already lost her mother, another brother and six other family members to the virus. From beyond a safety net, Sekoma has to break the news to the dead man’s wife and brother, both are patients here.
Adam’s eight-year-old son Felize, a suspected contact case in the children’s nursery, is spared the bad news for now. Within half an hour, grave diggers prepare a plot for Adam’s body. The final resting place for Nzérékoré’s latest victim of Ebola. No family members are present, there’s no ceremony and the burial is in a mass graveyard with numbers marking the graves rather than names. This is a very bleak ending in the wake of what is a very bleak epidemic.
But for this family, the nightmare is not over yet.
“I’m worrying about my wife’s health. If she is found negative, I can return home with her. If positive, they can take her,” Sekoma said. Half an hour later, Theresa has dysentery and vomited. She was taken by the center. A microcosm of Ebola’s ricochet effect, one family has been struck by the deadly virus again.