Scientists say a 2-year-old boy from Guinea started the Ebola outbreak [DETAILS]

by Kolapo Olapoju


Scientists believe they have traced the Ebola virus disease to patient zero, a two-year-old boy who died on 6 December, 2013. The toddler fell sick in a village in southeastern Guinea called ‘Guéckédou.

According to a report in “The New England Journal of Medicine”, researchers say they have identified him as the person who started the recent outbreak of the Ebola virus, but do not yet know how he caught the Ebola virus.

Guéckédou village is a three nation intersection, which sits on the border of Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia, countries which have been heavily effected by the Ebola virus outbreak.

A week after the death of the boy, his mother died, and his grandmother followed suit shortly after.

At the funeral of the grandmother, mourners came from neighboring areas. Two of them took the virus with them when they left Guéckédou and returned to their own villages. Shortly after this, a health worker carried the virus to yet another village where he died, as did his doctor.

During this period, the health worker and the doctor infected more of their own relatives and the spread continued to other towns.

It was not recognized as Ebola virus at the time, but because the boy and the other members of his family had exhibited the Ebola symptoms; vomiting, diarrhea and fever, scientists believe the deadly virus started here, and that the toddler was patient zero.

By March, a total of eight Guinean communities had been effected and dozens of people had died already. Liberia and Sierra Leone were also experiencing suspected cases of the Ebola virus.

Since the case of the two-year-old Guinean boy, there has been 1,779 cases of Ebola reported and 961 people have died from the deadly disease.


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