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Medicine Science

The Lingering Effects of Ebola 19

An anonymous reader writes: The Ebola panic is long past, and the outbreak is well under control. But for the thousands who survived the disease, the suffering continues. "Many survivors are now returning to clinics complaining of mysterious symptoms: chronic headaches, debilitating joint pain, even eye problems that can progress to blindness. Some doctors in the region have begun calling the suite of problems "post-Ebola syndrome," and they're developing clinics devoted to caring for Ebola survivors." Prior to the recent outbreak, Ebola survivors were rare because Ebola victims were rare. Doctors have extremely limited information about the long-term health effects of the virus. Compounding this, the desperation with which many organizations acted to contain the outbreak left little time for followup exams. Researchers are also trying to pin down exactly where the virus can reside in the human body after a patient is cured, and how long the virus stays there.
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The Lingering Effects of Ebola

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 15, 2015 @02:42PM (#50323065)

    Amazing how mention of Ebola seems to bring out all the mouth-breathers. Yes, indeed, virus after-effects can occur after the disease is "cured." My cousin suffered after-effects from polio (remember that you anti-vaxers?) and died prematurely from them decades later.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      But isn't your comment the first comment? Is this like Godel's theorem or something?

  • by davidwr ( 791652 ) on Saturday August 15, 2015 @03:27PM (#50323261) Homepage Journal

    There are probably hundreds, maybe thousands, of Ebola survivors from past outbreaks who are still alive.

    If enough of them can be tracked down and studied, we may be able to say "yep, this post-Ebola syndrome is nothing new, we just didn't notice it until now due to the low number of survivors."

  • by SuricouRaven ( 1897204 ) on Saturday August 15, 2015 @03:37PM (#50323307)

    How many symptoms are real, and how many imagined by people in fear?

    • How many symptoms are real, and how many imagined by people in fear?

      This was my first thought a well.

      This is an area of the world where they killed medical workers, supposedly for intentionally spreading Ebola, where they still believe in witches stealing penises, and where they murder albinos for the "magical properties" of their body parts, such as "good luck". The general population is quite prone to hysterical rumor in the region. The Osun Defender, a tabloid newspaper in the area, tends to egg these rumors on.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        The Osun Defender is a Nigerian tabloid/website with little visibility even in Nigeria, which had perhaps a dozen survivors and even fewer fatalities; the article is about other West African countries with several thousand documented cases. Geography is hard, isn't it?

        "The general population is quite prone to hysterical rumor in the region." Not only in this region, I assure you. And anti-vaxxers do not have the excuse of illiteracy...

    • by DigiShaman ( 671371 ) on Saturday August 15, 2015 @04:49PM (#50323591) Homepage

      Ebola is by nature hemorrhagic. That means it destroys cell. So when parts of your nervous system gets turned to mush, is it any wonder why Ebola survivors suffer all sorts of pain and mental issues? Hell no!

      The body can heal, but it never heals the way it was before. It's the delta changes in before and after that's the long lasting lingering effects.

    • The virus has been shown to be capable of hanging around in peoples eyes for weeks after they've otherwise recovered, (where it's NOT contagious unless their eyes gets mushed) and some of the patients have subsequently developed eye problems/blindness presumably because of this.

"I have not the slightest confidence in 'spiritual manifestations.'" -- Robert G. Ingersoll