The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

As Ebola’s death toll surpasses 10,000, this is how grief and recovery look in West Africa

Relatives weep as they bury a family member at a new graveyard on the outskirts of Monrovia on Wednesday, March 11, 2015. (Abbas Dulleh/AP)
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The Ebola news out of West Africa is bittersweet.

While infections are down, and one of the most affected countries has reported no new cases since last week, the World Health Organization said Thursday that the cumulative death toll of the deadliest Ebola outbreak in history has surpassed 10,000.

In some parts of the region, though, there has been cause for celebration: The worst might well be behind them. Liberia says that its last Ebola patients left the hospital on March 5.

Yet, there is still grief over the tremendous — and in some cases, ongoing — loss.

The grim milestone was announced by the WHO as health officials in Ebola-ravaged Liberia began hauling massive barrels of ashes out of the facility where many of the country’s 4,241 Ebola dead had been cremated.

Officials in Sierra Leone fear that complacency over the waning of the outbreak led to a resurgence of infections. And in Guinea, where the outbreak began, new infections continue to be reported, according to the WHO.

[The fear of Ebola led to slayings — and a whole village was punished]

This is how it looks in a region that is coping with grief and fighting to recover.