Long-Ebola Needs Extensive Research
Lingering symptoms have been reported by Ebola virus disease (EVD) survivors in Africa over the past few years.
For example, the Liberian Ebola Survivors Cohort study published on September 6, 2022, found headache, fatigue, joint pain, muscle pain, hearing loss, visual loss, and numbness of hands or feet were longitudinally assessed among EVD participants.
At baseline, about 75% reported at least one symptom, and 85% significantly interfered with life.
Over a median follow-up of 5.9 years, among 311 EVD patients, 52% reported a symptom and 29% of these as highly interfering with their lives.
And a study published on July 22, 2022, focused on EVD survivors from 2014 who described the hearing loss as part of the constellation of symptoms known as Post-Ebola Syndrome.
A significantly greater percentage of EVD survivors had hearing loss than contacts (23% vs. 9%, p < 0.001).
Additionally, survivors were more likely to have a bilateral hearing loss of a mixed etiology.
Logistic regression revealed that the presence of any symptoms of middle or inner ear (p < 0.001), eye (p = 0.005), psychiatric (p = 0.019), and nervous system (p = 0.037) increased the odds of developing hearing loss.
These findings call for investigations to identify the mechanisms of post-EVD sequelae and therapeutic interventions to benefit the thousands of affected EVD survivors.
Survivors are thought to have some protective immunity to the type of Ebola that sickened them.
It is unknown if people who recover are immune for life or if they can later become infected with a different Ebola virus species, says the U.S. CDC.
Previously, the WHO published on August 19, 2022, the first version of the Clinical Management for EVD living guidance contains recommendations regarding therapeutics, including two strong recommendations for monoclonal antibody therapies.
The WHO stated, 'Providing comprehensive and holistic guidance for the optimal care of patients with EVD throughout their illness is important.'
As of September 2022, Zaire Ebola vaccines and antibody treatments remain in limited distribution in the USA. Call your local or state health department for availability requirements.
Additional Ebola vaccine and antibody news are posted at Vax-Before-Travel.com/Ebola.
Vax-Before-Travel publishes fact-checked, research-based vaccine news curated for international travelers.