It all began with a large hollow tree. Two-year-old Emile Ouamouno had been fond of playing inside the tree, which was near his home in Meliandou – a village in the heart of the Guinean jungle. But other life had also discovered its cosy confines: bats. Children would sometimes catch them there, before roasting them for dinner. Then Emile got sick. On the 28 December 2013, he succumbed to a violent and mysterious illness. His mother, sister and grandmother were next. And that was it – after the funeral, the disease gradually began to spread. By 23 March 2014, there had been 49 cases and 29 deaths – and scientists confirmed that it was Ebola. Over the next three and a half years, the world looked on in horror as the virus claimed more than 11,325 lives. But while this was going on, another tragedy was unfolding.

 

 

Image by Miroslava Chrienova from Pixabay

Read more…