Charlotte Man Loses Family to Ebola

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by Will Kennedy
Bio | Email | Follow: @willkennedynews by Photojournalist Darnell Hart

CHARLOTTE, NC --  Ebola is hitting too close to home for one Charlotte resident.

Sah Kanda hasn't been to Liberia in 15 years, but now finds himself in the middle of the worst Ebola outbreak ever. He is sharing the story of the toll the virus has taken on his family.

"I was right there on the phone with my parents when my brother passed," says Kanda.

A nightmare turned reality for Charlotte resident Sah Kanda.

"It was all like everybody was thinking it was not really happened," says Kanda. "And it just came about like some misinformation."

Kanda moved to Charlotte from Liberia 15 years ago, leaving a large family behind in Africa.

The current Ebola outbreak devastated his relatives between May 16 and July 12. Sah says his brother's mother-in-law was sick. The brother's pregnant wife was infected, and both she and the baby died.

When the baby's body came home to be buried, his brother and several other family members were exposed to Ebola.

"I have lost a total number of seven persons, including my mom and my sister that was the last to die," says Kanda.

Kanda's family tragedy illustrates the historic spread of Ebola in Africa. A lack of information and communication, a language barrier and a shortage of necessary supplies.  Sah says he tried to warn his family, but it was too late.    

"People have to be careful. You've got to be preventive, take sanitation as a priority," says Kansa. "But people were not. They were in denial."

The World Health Organization says more than 900 people in Africa have died from Ebola during this outbreak. The CDC has raised the emergency response level to level one, the highest possible.

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