Doctor Loses Life to Ebola in Outbreak

"He [believed] that God was the one who provided his opportunities," she continues. "A person who stands against corruption meets obstacles here. He struggled. But we always thought he would eventually prevail."

He did not. In treating the poor he came to serve, he died a horrible death.

"I have seen [Ebola] patients die, and I know that I am dying," he said the morning of his death.

According to Myhre, moments before he died he said, "I am going to die now. And I pray that no one should ever have to die of this disease again."

At the End of the Road, a Killer

The road, such as it is, ends in Bundibugyo. You cannot travel farther without leaving Uganda and crossing into the Congo.

Winding through the steep terrain, one descends from Fort Portal to Bundibugyo, Uganda, passing through spectacularly beautiful jungle and savannah, with views to the west of the snow-capped equatorial Rwenzori mountains.

Margherita Peak towers in the misty distance at 16,795 feet; it is the third highest peak in Africa after mounts Kilimanjaro and Kenya. In the Semliki Valley below, hot springs attract tourists, lured here by the beauty of the incredibly rare and varied topography.

This is where Sir Henry Morton Stanley found Dr. David Livingstone in 1889, purportedly uttering the words, "Dr. Livingstone, I presume." Stanley was the first European to discover this mountain range, which he dubbed "mountains of the moon."

Along the Bundibugyo road, perched on the steep Rwenzori slopes, lies the village of Kikyo.

"This epidemic began in Kikyo, which is about 14 kilometers from Bundibugyo town and above the Semiliki National Forest and hot springs," noted Dr. Scott Myhre. "There has been confirmation that the first family afflicted were hunters who ate a monkey."

Kule was the first to investigate this Ebola outbreak sometime in October. There had been rumors of a mysterious illness with fever, abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, and, inexplicably, rapid death.

"I remember well the day he [Kule] came into the pediatric ward and told us about it," Jennifer Myhre continued. "I gave him gloves and my bottle of alcohol hand gel -- pitifully inadequate measures [as I look back on it] now."

In the beginning, the Myhres suspected a cholera outbreak. Kule promptly planned an excursion to learn more.

"I remember him slinging his backpack on, and getting on his motorcycle, saying 'If I die, I die,'" she writes.

Kule returned to Bundibugyo later that day. "He guessed typhoid fever, due to the prominent abdominal pain and even what seemed to be two cases with intestinal perforation," Jennifer Myhre writes.

He held community meetings to emphasize hygiene, and dispelled rumors of witchcraft or poison.

Ominously, back in Bundibugyo, Kule cared for an older gentleman who had also recently returned from Kikyo, having visited many of the sick there. Within a week, this gentleman died. Ebola still was not yet suspected.

On Nov. 29, results of blood samples that had been sent to the CDC in Atlanta came back.

"It was a bombshell -- Ebola, a new strain," remembered Jennifer Myhre.

The finding made international news immediately. Concerned, the Myrhes called Kule in Kampala where he had traveled to attend to personal business.

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