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How the Worst Ebola Outbreak Began with One Boy’s Death

Nassos Stylianou | BBC News   in 
November 28, 2014

Emile Ouamouno was just two years old and living in the remote Guinean village of Meliandou when he began suffering from a fever, headache and bloody diarrhoea.

In December 2013, despite his family’s best efforts, the young boy died – followed within days by his three-year-old sister Philomene and their pregnant mother Sia.

This was the start of an Ebola outbreak so devastating that it would kill more than 5,000 people in a year, leave hundreds of children orphaned and affect thousands more.

The village of Meliandou sits deep within the Guinean forest region, surrounded by towering reeds and oil palm cultivations – these are believed to have attracted the fruit bats carrying the virus passed onto Emile.

In a pattern that has come to characterise the spread of this deadly virus as it tears into close-knit communities, Ebola infected village health workers before spreading to nearby districts.


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