CONAKRY - The Guinean student who traveled to Senegal and became the country's lone confirmed case of Ebola has returned home fully recovered. The incident highlighted the difficulty of trying to contain the outbreak, even though Senegal had closed its borders with Guinea.
Mamadou Alimuo Diallo says he went to Senegal in August to see his uncle and to inquire about attending school there. He told VOA he did not know he was sick at the time.
He said he felt nothing until 48 hours after arrival in Dakar, when the first symptoms appeared. He began vomiting. He says when he felt worse over the course of the week, he asked his uncle to take him to the hospital and that is where they told him he had Ebola.
Diallo recalls feeling sad as he didn’t know if he would survive. But when he started feeling better after a few days - he was hopeful he’d recover.
The Ebola outbreak started in Guinea in December and has since spread to four other countries. While Nigeria and Senegal seem to have contained the spread, the disease continues to kill scores of people each week in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. The United Nations has declared Ebola an international threat to security and is mobilizing global donations and medical expertise.
Diallo’s ability to cross a closed border raised alarm bells. But his case appears isolated and no one else in Senegal has contracted the vicious disease, which is killing about 50 percent of those infected in this current outbreak.
Diallo returned to Guinea's capital, Conakry, last week. He says he was so happy to be home - but that happiness was short-lived when he was told some of his family was not as lucky as he was.
He says his mother and sister died at the Donka hospital here in Conakry. His two younger brothers were also treated at the Donka hospital and they are now home.
Mamadou Alimou Diallo is back at home with them - recovered from Ebola but still scarred by its devastating impact.