UNI student worries about family in West Africa - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

UNI student worries about family in West Africa

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For some the Ebola epidemic is hitting too close to home. The University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls hosted a panel discussion on Ebola.

Abubakarr Jalloh was on the panel. "I'm very scared. I'm very nervous, but not much I can do."

The UNI student is originally from Sierra Leone, West Africa and still has family there. Before the Ebola outbreak, he would speak to his family twice a month, now it's constant.

"Anytime I talk to them I say just do the best you can," said Jalloh.

He says they are still going about their business, but they are being very careful, including frequently washing their hands with bleach. 

He says what's scary about the situation, is people there will have contact with the disease and not even know it.  

"Families are dying, lives are being lost, everybody's under quarantine so you know there's a serious panic and fear that you know, you're never going to know what's going to happen next," said Jalloh.

Jalloh says because of cultural issues some people there are even keeping their sick loved ones home...adding to the spread of the Ebola epidemic.

"Once you get sick and you go to any of these Ebola holding centers or the hospitals the next result is death and once you die you're not allowed to even bury your own family. So the public health officials or authorities basically dump the body or bury the body and for us that's not sacred."

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