Could A 2-Year-Old Boy Be ‘Patient Zero’ For The Ebola Outbreak?
Back in early December, a little boy in southern Guinea caught a mysterious disease. He had a fever, was vomiting and had blood in his stool.
The boy died a few days later. Before he did, he passed the disease to his 3-year-old sister, his mother, his grandmother and a midwife. The latter was eventually hospitalized in Gueckedou, a nearby city of 200,000 people.
By March, the disease spread to four cities. And international health officials realized they had an Ebola outbreak on their hands. The virus quickly spilled over into Sierra Leone, Liberia and Nigeria. Now more 1,400 have died in the outbreak, the World Health Organization says.
Back in April, an international team of scientists reported in The New England Journal of Medicine that this little boy, just 2 years old, likely triggered the entire Ebola outbreak in Guinea.
Some called the boy “patient zero.” But others think his story offers insights to how the outbreak grew so fast.