Ebola has a typical case fatality rate averaging 70% which in itself presents a terrifying prospect for those infected by the virus. The 30% of cases that survive may go on to develop potentially long term symptoms resulting from the damage caused by the virus. As many as half of the survivors have reported health troubles after the initial recovery.
Loss of Vision
One of the most common complaints after surviving Ebola is the deterioration of vision. No studies have been done concluding that Ebola has an impact on vision and it is not possible to confirm without a doubt that vision damage is caused the virus but possible related causes could be from damage to the blood vessels surrounding the eyes and long term inflammation.
The severe headaches that accompany the early Ebola symptoms may linger for up to 18 months in survivors. Survivors need to avoid the use of Aspirin after recovering which may limit the treatment options for some. Joint and Muscle pain have also been noted by survivors.
Survivors are often faced with the difficult task of returning to their lives after being isolated from society for an extended period of time. A significant stigma exists resulting in further isolation and exclusion by community members. Trauma counseling is suggested but regrettably not always available in remote or impoverished regions.
Ebola outbreaks have typically been limited in size and as such very few studies have been conducted on the long term effects of the virus. In the future there will certainly be more extensive studies done and it is foreseeable that the questions around liver and cardiovascular damage will need to be answered. It is not entirely clear how many of the after effects are caused by Ebola itself or the treatments typically used but it is certain that surviving Ebola is just the beginning of the journey for many people.
A UN Worker has been transported from Sierra Leone to France for treatment of Ebola. This is the second French national flown home for treatment. Here is a summary of the day’s news:
- A woman in the United Kingdom with a travel history that includes West Africa was hospitalized at St. George’s Hospital in Tooting, south London upon suspicion of Ebola. The Accidents and Emergency section was cordoned off and she was moved to the Clinical Infections Unit to be isolated. The woman later tested negative.
- Sierra Express Media reports that angry youths chased and threw rocks at an ambulance carrying an Ebola patient causing the driver to lose control and flip over into a ditch. This is not the first incident of its kind in Sierra Leone. The patient is unharmed. Officials in the nation have also said that while they are grateful for the support to fight the disease, they want to make sure that money is being spent appropriately and are considering an audit of Ebola donors.
- The New Dawn Liberia reports that President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf has campaigned for the nation’s Central Bank, private financial institutions and other stakeholders to play an active role in the nation’s post-Ebola financial recovery. Johnson-Sirleaf said that the country was making good progress against the virus and it was now time to build a stronger economy.
- A US $500million lawsuit has been filed against Kimberly-Clark Corp. alleging that its Breathable High Performance Surgical Gowns, which they claim gives maximum protection against infectious diseases including Ebola, failed industry tests which found blood and other particles were able to pass through the material. Despite the test results, the company allegedly continued to market the product as before.
- The Spanish nursing assistant, Maria Romero, has been moved out of isolation into a general ward. Maria was given the all clear last week but still needs to recover from the effects of the viral disease. Meanwhile, American Doctor Craig Spencer is now said to be in a stable condition.