Study of Ebola survivors opens in Liberia
Along with long-term effects, researchers are also studying immunity development and whether latent viral material could be transmitted through sexual contact. Liberia's Ministry of Health and the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) are sponsoring this study.
Study participants will have their medical history examined and will undergo physical and vision examinations. They also will be asked to give blood samples, and a subset of the participant pool may also be asked to provide other bodily fluid samples. Participants will also identify up to five individuals who they came in contact with during and following the course of the disease. If willing, they will also be asked to provide blood samples and answer questions regarding their contact with an Ebola survivor.
“The clinical course of Ebola virus disease is reasonably well-understood, but we still have much to learn about the long-term health effects of the illness in those who recover,” NIAID Director Anthony Fauci said. “To unravel the many unknowns, we have expanded the focus of our partnership with Liberia’s Ministry of Health to include research on the long-term health effects of Ebola virus disease, in addition to our ongoing efforts to find an effective preventive vaccine and treatments for Ebola virus disease.”
This study will follow survivors and their contacts in order to record possible prevalence or risk factors that Ebola has regarding mental health, immune system function, and other health elements.