Thursday October 21, 2021

Ebola survivors can trigger outbreaks years after infection

AFP
September 16, 2021

TOKYO: Ebola survivors can relapse and trigger outbreaks at least five years after infection, and long-term follow-up of former patients is needed to prevent devastating flare-ups, according to new research.

Scientists already knew Ebola could lie dormant in survivors, who test negative because the virus is in tissue rather than circulating in the blood. But analysis of an outbreak this year in Guinea, published on Wednesday in the journal Nature, found these "virus reservoirs" can awaken and cause new infections and transmission years on. To trace the source of the Guinea outbreak, which involved 16 confirmed cases, 12 of whom died, researchers analysed the genomes of samples from several patients.