Thanks to Margot Lochrenberg and Lucie Lecomte for sending two versions of the same report: Ebola: Funerals, ghost towns, haunted health workers. This one, from CNN, has a powerful three-minute video. Watch it. Excerpt:
At the gravesite in a northern Liberia village, there are no religious or traditional burial rites. No ceremony, no mourning, no family members, and no final goodbyes.
Nothing but a group of men dressed in space-suit-like outfits, cautiously throwing the dead body into the grave, they pause only to toss in anything else they are wearing that came into contact with the deceased.
These men are part of the country's Ebola response team, specifically tasked with burying anyone suspected to have died of the Ebola virus.
The virus is spread through contact with the blood and body fluids of people infected with Ebola, and it is still transferable even from a dead body. To help combat the spread of the disease, the Liberian government has directed that its citizens should not bury anyone who dies of, or is suspected of having been infected with, Ebola.
For months Liberians ignored the directive, fearing that they would be ostracized by their communities if they admitted that their relatives had died of Ebola, but here in Lofa County -- ground zero of the country's outbreak -- almost everyone has witnessed the devastating suffering and numerous deaths caused by the virus.
Now almost anytime there is a suspected Ebola death in the community, they call in the Ebola response team to come and bury the body safely.