*The extremely frightening Ebola virus seems to have just appeared out of nowhere, and just as quickly and mysteriously, it has become epidemic. Thus far, four thousand persons have lost their lives, mainly in Liberia – where we first learned about it. And health officials don’t appear to be any closer to learning more about how it is contracted. Is it airborne? Is it similar to AIDS, where one must be in contact with an affected persons’ fluids? Do you have to be in “direct” contact…and how close is ‘direct’?
According to the World Health Organization, the epidemic has a 70 percent mortality rate, and it is said to leave survivors immune to the strain that sickened them.
Yes. We know about the American survivors; those who returned from Liberia after helping tend to the affected there. All white. All survived. We know that a nurse that tended to Thomas Eric Duncan, the black man who traveled from Liberia to Dallas – and died days later. We also know about two nurses who contracted Ebola, one who had tended to Mr. Duncan has now been diagnosed. But what we are just now learning is that not everyone who carried the virus in Liberia, died from it.
We can actually put a face to a portion of the remaining 30-percent. People like Sontay Massaley, pictured above, who still live in Liberia; have managed to survive the Ebola virus, and lived to tell about it.
Perhaps some of the answers we seek in learning about the epidemic lies in the living, not the dead.
Massaley, 37, seems exuberant upon her release from the Doctors Without Borders (MSF), Ebola treatment center on October 12, 2014 in Paynesville, Liberia. Massaley had worked as a market vendor before she contracted the virus, and recovered after an 8-day stay in the center.
2-year-old Ebola survivor James Mulbah, shown here with his mother, Tamah Mulbah, 28, both recovered from Ebola in the low-risk section of the Doctors Without Borders (MSF), Ebola treatment center after survivors’ meeting on October 16, 2014 in Paynesville, Liberia.
Ebola survivors Mark Jerry, 30, (R), and Zaizay Mulbah, 34, pictured above, are nurse’s assistants. Before contracting the virus Jerry was a money changer and Mulbah a delivery driver. After they recovered, they were hired by MSF to counsel and comfort others stricken by the disease.
Emergency room doctor and Ebola survivor Philip Ireland, pictured above, he spent 21 days recovering from the disease in July.
Ebola survivor Ami Subah, 39, stands inside the low-risk area of the Doctors Without Borders (MSF), treament center after meeting with fellow survivors on October 16, 2014 in Paynesville, Liberia. Subah, a midwife, said she thinks she caught Ebola when she delivered a baby boy from a sick mother. The boy, she said, survived, but the mother died. She said she has not had work since her recovery, due to the stigma of having had Ebola. “Nobody will even let me draw water from the community well,” she said.
Little Abrahim Quota, 5, an Ebola survivor recovered from the disease on October 13, 2014 in Monrovia, Liberia. He came to the treatment center 10 days before with his parents, who both died there from the virus. The Ministry of Health was to deliver him home after his release to live with relatives.
Want to read the stories of more Ebola survivors? Go to Yahoo News.