FREETOWN, Sierra Leone — When Martin Salia’s Ebola test came back negative, his friends and colleagues threw their arms around him. They shook his hand. They patted him on the back. They removed their protective gear and cried.
But when his symptoms remained nearly a week later, Salia took another test, on Nov. 10. This one came back positive, sending the Sierra Leonean doctor with ties to Maryland on a desperate, belated quest for treatment and forcing the colleagues who had embraced him into quarantine.
“We were celebrating. If the test says you are Ebola-free, we assume you are Ebola-free,” said Komba Songu M’Briwa, who cared for Salia at the Hastings Ebola Treatment Center in Freetown. “Then everything fell apart.”