Relatives of a man identified only as Karlue, who reportedly died at the corner of Gurley Street last Thursday have attributed his death to Tuberculosis (TB), and not Ebola, as claimed by some local dailies. The man’s relatives also said thatfor many years the deceased had suffered from TB.
“He didn’t die from Ebola as some newspapers mentioned. The procedure says that when someone dies on the street, or their body is found and there is no one to identify it, the body should be sprayed and removed. And that’s what happened in my brother’s case,” said a woman claiming to be the sister of the deceased.
The scene of the incident on Thursday was tragic. By the time the Ebola task force arrived, Karlue was lying dead in a pool of blood he had coughed up. The body was sprayed with disinfectant, an initial precaution taken against Ebola viral infection, covered with salt and taken to an undisclosed location.
“I won’t lie, my brother was a drug user,” said Karlue’s sister, “and has been using drugs for many years. Somewhere along the line, he contracted TB and was placed in the TB annex on three occasions. Each stay was never completed because he always ran away from the place just to come back on the streets to smoke. His health was poor and for those who knew him, he spent most of his time coughing until his death.”
One of the locals at the scene, who claimed to have known the deceased, said that he was a man who made a living from collected scrap-iron and empty soft drink cans, salvaged from dumpsites, adding that a few days before his death, he was admitted to a TB annex but ran away for a third time.
“We stopped seeing him for a long time,” said the resident, who referred to himself only as Dennis. “But recently he broke away from the place and used to live in the graveyard on Center Street, though in the daytime he would be at a garage on Mechlin Street. That’s where he did everything. He didn’t die from Ebola. He has had TB for a very long time.”