Nineteen-year-old Forkpah Worloma of Dallas said he couldn't believe it when he learned his fellow apartment complex resident, Amber Vinson, one of the nurses who treated Ebola victim Thomas Eric Duncan, contracted the virus.
Worloma, who was born in Liberia and moved to the U.S. eight years ago, said he coincidentally also knew Duncan through a family member, but he hadn't been in contact with him on this visit. Duncan died of the disease on Oct. 8.
"Once Thomas Eric died, I waited for news that another immediate family member might come down with [Ebola], but I never expected one of the nurses or someone in my neighborhood," he told NBC News Friday.
Worloma said the odds of Ebola affecting his family, a neighbor and his community, have thrown him for a loop.
"When I found out someone in my complex had Ebola, it was as if, 'Why is this virus following me?'" he said. "I felt like, this virus wouldn't leave our family or people we know. I thought, 'It is coming after me.'"
Four dozen people who came into contact with Duncan in Dallas completed a monitoring period on Monday with no sign of having contracted the virus.
Even though Worloma said he is aware that the virus spreads through close and not casual contact, he is still nervous that he or others in Dallas might contract it. And he said people who come in contact with him appear wary.
"People even treat me differently," not just because he knew Duncan or lived in same complex as Vinson, he said, "but also because I am from Liberia — they treat me different. I wouldn't wish this on anyone."
— Tracy Jarrett