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A local activist’s confusion, as Ebola ravages in remote villages of Sierra Leone

30 people have died in the village (Kagbanthama), 27 of them are my close relatives. The only thing bothering us is that we don't know whether they died of Ebola or not because there has been no official report yet to confirm or refute the claim of Ebola. We are confused because the rate at which people are dying in the village makes Ebola the prime suspect. But the fact that all those who came in contact with the earlier corpses - attending them on their sick beds, washing and dressing the corpses and preparing them for burial are still alive; they have never complained of even headache.

The whole thing is a big puzzle that is challenging everyone for answers. The people did not die at the same time. All of these deaths took place within one month. When it started one or two people would die in a single day, and then it accelerated to three or four deaths per day. People are now dying infrequently. The medics did not intervene early; they came in after the first 8 or so people had died and some were seriously ill. They took the blood samples of those that were ill and registered all the other people that were living in those houses. This caused people to anticipate that those houses would be quarantined if the blood samples proved positive. These sick people whose blood samples were taken have all died, and the results are yet to come out or to be disclosed, at least to the families of the deceased. A few houses were quarantined, though, for one week only instead of the traditional 21 days. And the people are going about their normal businesses. So, like I said, the whole thing is confusing.

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