Scientists at the University of East Anglia recently conducted research, published in PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases, that suggests the chance of contracting Ebola from a virus survivor is very low.
The study's goal was to determine how long Ebola continues to survive inside bodily fluids.
Even though Ebola may exist for lengthy periods in specific body areas, the virus is usually eliminated from the bloodstream in 16 days. This means that there is a very low chance of catching Ebola through contact with a survivor.
After analyzing approximately 6,000 articles about Ebola, the team found that Ebola can be found in almost any kind of body fluid. Infected blood has the highest viral load.
There is one exception to this opinion: the virus is still transmissible through sexual intercourse because it remains in semen for multiple months after the patient has officially recovered. Seventy percent of the semen samples tested showed Ebola, even after seven months of recovery.
"This research is important because there has been little evidence to give definitive guidance about which body fluids are infectious and when they pose a risk,” professor Paul Hunter from East Anglia's Norwich Medical School, said. “Above all, this research strengthens the case for scientific evidence to be used -- rather than fear -- when managing infectious diseases such as Ebola."