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Duke graduate back from Africa after Ebola scare

A Duke University graduate is back home after spending time in the Ebola "hot zone."
A Duke University graduate is back home after spending time in the Ebola "hot zone."

Shreyan Sen was volunteering with the Peace Corps in Guinea when the outbreak began.

"There's a lot of things we take for granted in the U.S.," said Sen.

Sen spent two years in Guinea as an educational volunteer. He taught teaching physics, math, and English. It was during the last few months of the mission that he witnessed a crisis.

"We were explicitly told not to go to health centers during the outbreak," said Sen.

Ebola cases spiked and spread from Guinea to Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Nigeria. Ten days after his mission ended, the Peace Corps decided to pull out of West Africa. Volunteers were evacuated.

"Most volunteers are actually very sad to be evacuated," said Sen. "I speak for most of them when I say, if they were given the opportunity to go back tomorrow, they would absolutely take that chance."

The outbreak is considered the deadliest ever. More than 1,000 people have died and nearly 2,000 have been sickened. The World Health Organization says the numbers "vastly underestimate the magnitude of the outbreak" and the agency is prepared for the crisis to continue for months.

"Ebola is not something that is going to go away," said Sen.

At his home now in Raleigh, Sen can only hope the developed world will come to the aid of the people and children he left behind.

"People are treating family members at home who had Ebola," said Sen. "In Guinea, it's not contained because of the lack of information."

Sen has been in contact with the folks he met in Guinea. He's planning on going to grad school, but does intend to go back there in the future.

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