Example: [Collected via E-mail, September 2014]
Can you verify the story about 2 dead Ebola patients in Liberia
coming back to life before burial?
Origins: On 24 September, Monrovia, Liberia-based newspaper The New Dawn published an article regarding an unusual occurrence in Nimba County. According to the local news source, two deceased victims of Ebola had mysteriously come back to life just prior to their burials. The strange and sudden resurrection of two Ebola patients had naturally frightened local residents, all of whom are already living with the specter of a terrifying and deadly outbreak of the disease.
The article was titled “Dead Ebola patients resurrect?” and it began:
Two Ebola patients, who died of the virus in separate communities in Nimba County have reportedly resurrected in the county. The victims, both females, believed to be in their 60s and 40s respectively, died of the Ebola virus recently in Hope Village Community and the Catholic Community in Ganta, Nimba.
But to the amazement of residents and onlookers on Monday, the deceased reportedly regained life in total disbelief. The NewDawn Nimba County correspondent said the late Dorris Quoi of Hope Village Community and the second victim only identified as Ma Kebeh, said to be in her late 60s, were about to be taken for burial when they resurrected.
The newspaper lists the “Ebola resurrection” as one of a few unusual happenings in the course of the current outbreak in the region, adding:
Ma Kebeh had reportedly been in door for two nights without food and medication before her alleged death. Nimba County has had bazaar news of Ebola cases with a native doctor from the county, who claimed that he could cure infected victims, dying of the virus himself last week.
News of the resurrection of the two victims has reportedly created panic in residents of Hope Village Community and Ganta at large, with some citizens describing Dorris Quoi as a ghost, who shouldn’t live among them. Since the Ebola outbreak in Nimba County, this is the first incident of dead victims resurrecting.
While the report was widely aggregated to several
outlets, a few key aspects remain unclear. No reports address how the patients were declared dead, or what transpired between that moment and their miraculous resurrections.
What’s more, the death of a medical professional who had previously claimed an ability to “cure Ebola” is not a “bazaar” [sic] development. As of September 2014, the only treatments, vaccines or cures for Ebola are experimental, are not available in Africa, and are in the research stage. As such, it’s very likely that any individual claiming to have an Ebola cure would a) come in contact with the virus frequently, and b) be at a high risk for contracting and/or succumbing to the disease himself.
On 30 September, the “Ebola zombie” rumor was resurrected with a post suggesting that a third victim of the disease had mysteriously reanimated. However, the site from which the image and story originated is satirical in nature.
No corroborating reports of Ebola resurrections have surfaced since the initial story was published in Liberia, and no details have emerged to clarify the circumstances under which the patients “died.”
Last updated: 1 October 2014