Study shows Ebola survivors treated in clinics struggle with additional health problems

US partially able to treat Ebola
US partially able to treat Ebola | Courtesy of
A recent study in Sierra Leone showed surviving Ebola patients who were treated in care clinics struggle with long-term health problems.

Laboratory reports show statistically significant lasting health problems across those sampled and indicate those who sought treatment at Ebola clinics are more likely to suffer these problems than those who were treated elsewhere.

Eye inflammation is also a significant problem for those treated in Ebola care clinics. Among 277 Ebola survivors studied, 76 percent indicated joint pain, 60 percent reported emerging vision problems, and 18 percent indicated eye inflammation or related problems. Studies indicated those whose cases were most severe were more likely to suffer with vision problems.

Dr. Sharmistha Mishra, infectious disease physician at St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto and lead author of the study, said these emerging problems “underline the need for follow-up care in West Africa to make sure these complications are diagnosed and treated.”

Mishra said resolution of an individual’s case is not an endpoint, as disease might persist in "immunologically privileged sanctuary sites -- certain bodily fluids such as semen and the vitreous humor fluid of the eyeballs.”

This makes each individual’s case more difficult to treat and illustrates the need for care and precise detail of symptoms is essential to stop person-to-person and community spread of Ebola.

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St. Michael's Hospital

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