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Scientists Now Reporting “Post-Ebola Syndrome”

Scientists Now Reporting “Post-Ebola Syndrome”

Not only are “cured” patients relapsing, but Ebola may be sexually transmitted

After declaring “victory” in the war against the Ebola epidemic we were following earlier this year, scientists are now making some disturbing new discoveries about the hemorrhagic fever virus.

Chief among those discoveries is that patients who were “cured” of the disease continue to experience debilitating symptoms.

Researchers following 49 survivors of a 2007 Ebola outbreak in Uganda found that — even two years after the illness — they had eye problems like inflammation and blurred vision as well as joint pain, difficulty sleeping, difficulty swallowing and even hearing loss, memory loss and confusion.

A third study examining 105 survivors of the 2014-15 outbreak in Guinea found that about 90 percent had chronic joint pain and 98 percent had poor appetites or an aversion to food. They also reported difficulty with short-term memory, headaches, sleeplessness, insomnia, dizziness, abdominal pain, constipation, sexual dysfunction, and decreased libido and exercise tolerance.

Bausch says, aside from arthritis and eye inflammation, it’s still unclear which issues are directly related to the Ebola virus and which could be caused by the physical and emotional toll on the body. But something is going on.

“It’s clear that there is a post-Ebola syndrome,” he says.

Continuing research on Ebola in the wake of the massive outbreak that has claimed over 11,00 lives has forced infectious disease experts to go back to the drawing board. For example, one of the most widely held theories was that patients who recover from Ebola are immune from future infections of the virus.

However, a Scottish healthcare professional suffered a complete relapse after having been “cured” several months prior.

When nurse Pauline Cafferkey was admitted back into the infectious diseases unit of the Royal Free hospital in London on 9 October, nine months after recovering from Ebola, and then became critically ill, all the previous assumptions about the long-term effects of this virus had to be torn up.

Doctors and scientists are amazed and appalled. It is horrible for Cafferkey and her family, but the implications of her new illness are much more wide-reaching. The UK has a world-class health service. Cafferkey’s family were angry that the possibility that her symptoms were linked to Ebola was not immediately picked up, but even though she did not have the usual fever and vomiting, within days the virus had been identified once more and she had been flown to specialised care.

Another disturbing find is that Ebola can be considered a sexually transmitted disease. Research shows a significant number of male survivors retain the virus in their semen and there has been a reported case of direct transmission of the disease.

The report in the New England Journal of Medicine found two-thirds of men had Ebola in their semen up to six months after infection, and a quarter after nine.

…One study, led by the US Army Medical Research Institute, documents the first “evidence of sexual transmission of Ebola virus”.

The researchers analysed the genetic code of the virus in a man’s semen and the blood of his female partner in Liberia and showed it was “consistent with direct transmission”.

Watch the following report from NTV Kenya:

We are now entering the third year of the most recent Ebola crisis, as two new cases have been reported in West Africa.

The World Health Organization says there were two new cases of Ebola in Guinea this week, ending two consecutive weeks in West Africa when no cases of the devastating disease were reported.

The two new patients were not previously identified contacts being tracked by health authorities, suggesting that officials are still unable to monitor everyone exposed to Ebola. WHO spokeswoman Dr. Margaret Harris said Friday the U.N. health agency had expected to see more cases despite the recent lull in the epidemic. She added the cases were in areas where scientists knew Ebola was spreading.

Perhaps the most heartening aspect of this story is that researchers are not acting as if the “science is settled” and are continuing to explore new approaches to fighting this dreadful infection.


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Unless they can get this under control we could have another ‘AIDS’ type situation on our hands (depending upon how virulent it is and how easy it is to catch).

ScottTheEngineer | October 18, 2015 at 5:08 pm

Oops, I think maybe the learned scholars of high standing might want to rethink the definition of quarantine and why it’s important.

“The word “quarantine” originates from the Venetian dialect form of the Italian quaranta giorni, meaning ‘forty days’. ” – Thanks Wikipedia!!

And this is how it escapes from the “wild”. By saving some, we’ve enabled them to be vectors for spread.

That’s just fantastic.

fd, it will be (or might) a lot worse than aids. Aids can be halted in its tracks by behavioral changes. Not so with ebola. The only effective means of stopping ebola is quarantine of the effected.

Maybe we should have some “NO EBOLA BEYOND THIS POINT” signs printed up and place them strategically about.

It’s OK to talk about AIDS and sexually transmitted diseases – both consequences of chosen behavior.

These days science is limited knowledge applied universally as omniscient truth.

Climate change is he real cause.

Henry Hawkins | October 18, 2015 at 8:10 pm

Where’s our resident MD(s)?

Anyway, you know how a medical ‘miracle’ occurs when someone pronounced dead comes back to life? It is human nature to prefer to call that a miracle as opposed to a premature diagnosis of ‘dead’. This may be happening here, that the problem isn’t a post-cure return of ebola but a premature or errant declaration of ‘cured’.

    While Ebama was busy importing Obola victims into the country, it was known, despite CDC claims to the contrary, that people who recovered were being released into the public too soon, and that live virus can persist for months in semen. Thus, the potential for sexual transmission was known; now it is an actuality. It’s very troubling to learn that infection doesn’t result in immunity, although the honest experts acknowledge post-infection immunity was merely assumed.

This does not appear to be a re-occurrence of the actual Ebola, but consequences of the major internal damage caused by the disease.

Considering how badly Ebola tears up your body, serious sequelae are not really surprising. A lot of the patient’s internal squishy bits had been trashed. We really don’t know much about post Ebola conditions, because there are relatively few survivors, and they all live “over there.”

There are many diseases that present serious sequelae. Probably the best know is Malaria, which can tear people up for decades with bit’s recurring rigors. Even common Salmonella can tear people up with serious symptoms for years after eating that undercooked chicken.

    Barry in reply to Mannie. | October 20, 2015 at 9:41 pm

    “This does not appear…”

    I would suggest we are seeing both the effects of the disease on the body, and re-occurrence along with ability to infect others.

    A deadly disease of which we know very little.