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Azaria Marthyman is a primary care physician in Victoria, BC, who has recently returned from Liberia

“No, don’t touch the dead body!”
“Save yourself so you can save others!”
“Midwives, nurses, and doctors have died!”
“Entire families being wiped out!”

The above statements trigger memories of the experiences I had while in Liberia, each linked to one antagonist: EBOLA.

Hawa greeted her husband who just returned home from helping at a burial ceremony of a close friend who died suddenly of a terrible sickness. After being home for only a week, Hawa’s husband himself became sick with “hot skin” (fever), headache, “body pain” (myalgia), sore throat, cough, and fatigue. Hawa cared for him with traditional herbal remedies, but he continued to worsen. He suffered abdominal pain, severe nausea, vomiting, and “toilet fast-fast” (diarrhea). His eyes became gritty, tearful, and red. By day six of his illness, he was unable to get up, curled in a fetal position on the mat that was dirty with his vomit and excrements. It was impossible to keep him clean for long because of the continual vomiting and diarrhea. No one came to help her. Hopelessly, she watched her husband decline rapidly, bleeding from his gums and lips, becoming unconscious. He died soon after. ...continue reading