In DepthInfectious Diseases

Surviving Ebola survival

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Science  26 Jun 2015:
Vol. 348, Issue 6242, pp. 1406-1407
DOI: 10.1126/science.348.6242.1406

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More than 16,000 people have survived the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, the biggest in history. While the virus is still spreading in parts of Guinea and Sierra Leone, some scientists are turning their attention to these survivors. Many of them report symptoms ranging from hearing loss and eye problems to fatigue and erectile dysfunction. In a joint effort, the Liberian ministry of health and the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases are investigating how many people are suffering from this "post-Ebola syndrome" and what might cause it. A similar study is going on in Guinea. Investigators also hope to find out whether there is a chance that some survivors might still transmit the virus to others. Ebola virus has been found in the semen of one survivor and the eye of another months after it had been cleared from the blood.