CONAKRY, Guinea (AP) — The medical school professors no longer want Kadiatou Fanta in the classroom. Her boyfriend has broken up with her. Each day the 26-year-old eats alone and sleeps alone. Even her own family members are afraid to touch her months after she survived Ebola.
Long gone are the days when she was vomiting blood and wracked by fever. And even with a certificate of health declaring her as having recovered, she says it’s still as though “Ebola survivor” is burned on her flesh.
“Ebola has ruined my life even though I am cured,” she says. “No one wants to spend a minute in my company for fear of being contaminated.”
The Ebola virus is only transmitted through direct contact with bodily fluids of the sick, such as blood, saliva, urine, sweat or semen. When the first cases emerged in Guinea back in March, no one had ever confronted such a virulent and gruesome disease in this corner of Africa.
The current outbreak now has killed more than 1,000 people, according to the latest figures from the World Health Organization. The fatality rate in previous Ebola outbreaks has been up to 90 percent, though health officials say this time up to half of victims are surviving.