The recent outbreak of the Ebola virus ended recently in June. The survivors of the Ebola virus infection tend to live with health conditions long after recovery. The virus continues to spread in Congo to this day. The country reported 100 new cases of the virus in the past months.
Majid Sadigh, MD. is the global health director at the Western Connecticut Health Network. He said that the people who survive with the virus endure the effects of it for the rest of their lives. These people have a severe impact on their physical and mental health during the disease.
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Several studies on the virus show that the survivors of this infection have a decreased life span. They also suffer from problems related to kidney and eye disease. These people have to live with the stigma in society for the rest of their lives. It affects their opportunity for employment and status in society.
Kevin M. De Cock, MD works at the Center for Global Health of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as a senior advisor. He said that the Ebola virus causes a hindrance for these people to continue living their lives normally.
People with a history of Ebola virus infection have a different social life. They also endure psychological and physical effects due to the virus. Researchers studied the long-lasting effects of the virus on the health of these survivors.
The Lancet Infectious Diseases published the data collected from 1,130 survivors of Ebola virus infection. The research shows that these people had increased death risk by up to five times as compared to healthy people.
According to the data, 59 survivors of the disease died later. 37 of these individuals died due to renal failure. The researchers said that this is alarming data that shows the negative effects of the disease on the renal system.
The researchers also said that there is no strong evidence of renal failure among most Ebola patients. However, the possibility of this condition as the cause of death is there among patients.
The studies also show that the Ebola virus resides in different parts of the body. Sadigh mentioned that the virus can sustain itself in the central nervous system and testes of the patient. These sites are not the target of the immune system. Hence, the virus can survive in these sites for a long period.
The survival of the Ebola virus in these sites can lead to the spread of the virus after recovery. WHO states that the virus can also transmit sexually through males. However, the probability of sexual transmission is low among women.
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Even though we controlled the Ebola virus outbreak around the world, it can spread through the genital fluids. This shows that people do not have as much control over the virus as one may think.
Another study showed the presence of Ebola virus particles in breast milk. Also, the samples from the genital fluids of men showed a viral load. This study shows that unprotected intercourse can lead to the spread of the Ebola virus infection.
The findings from the various studies show that the Ebola virus can sustain for a long period in the human body. Researchers need more vast and though understanding of the disease to understand its long term effects.