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Related terms: Ebola Virus Disease, EVD

Some Ebola Infections May Be Symptomless

Posted 15 Nov 2016 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Nov. 15, 2016 – Researchers have discovered cases of symptom-free Ebola infection in West Africa, which suggests that the number of people who had the virus during the recent epidemic was higher than thought. There were 28,000 reported cases of Ebola in West Africa between 2013 and 2016. That total included only people with symptoms. Researchers took blood samples from 187 people in a village in Sierra Leone that was a major hotspot of Ebola infection. None of these people was previously known to have Ebola. Still, 14 of them had Ebola antibodies in their blood. "The findings provide further evidence that Ebola, like many other viral infections, presents with a spectrum of clinical manifestations, including minimally symptomatic infection," Dr. Eugene Richardson, a research scientist at Partners in Health in Boston, and colleagues wrote in the study. "These data also suggest ... Read more

Related support groups: Diagnosis and Investigation, Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever

Ebola Virus Mutated to Become More Infectious, Scientists Say

Posted 3 Nov 2016 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Nov. 3, 2016 – Mutations in the Ebola virus boosted its ability to infect people during the 2013-2016 epidemic in West Africa, two independent teams of researchers say. By the time the epidemic ended, more than 28,000 people had been infected and more than 11,000 had died. The authors of the studies wanted to determine if there were any genetic changes in the Ebola virus in response to infection in such a large number of people. "Ebola virus is thought to circulate in an unknown animal reservoir and to only rarely cross over into people. When the virus does cross over, the effect has been devastating to those people who are infected. Until recently, the human disease outbreaks have been short lived, and the virus has had little opportunity to adapt genetically to the human host," said Dr. Jeremy Luban. He is co-author of one of the studies and a professor at the University of ... Read more

Related support groups: Diagnosis and Investigation, Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever

Ebola May Be Present in Semen for Year or More

Posted 31 Aug 2016 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Aug. 30, 2016 – Ebola virus stays present in semen longer than previously thought, and is more likely to be found in older men, researchers report. The deadly virus can be transmitted through semen. Preliminary findings from 429 male Ebola survivors taking part in a national screening program in the African nation of Liberia showed that 9 percent (38) had fragments of Ebola in their semen. Of those 38 men, 63 percent tested positive for Ebola in their semen a year after recovering from the disease. One man's semen still had evidence of Ebola at least 565 days after he recovered from the illness, the study found. Men older than 40 were more likely to have Ebola fragments in their semen than younger men, the study authors said. Along with testing semen for Ebola, the Men's Health Screening Program (MHSP) in Liberia provides counseling and education about safe sex, and led to a ... Read more

Related support groups: Birth Control, Contraception, Sexually Transmitted Diseases, Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever

Sex, Breast Milk May Have Helped Spread Ebola in Africa

Posted 19 May 2016 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, May 19, 2016 – The Ebola virus was transmitted by semen and breast milk during the latter stages of the outbreak in Sierra Leone, a new study shows. Researchers from the United Kingdom identified several instances of unconventional transmission of the deadly disease, including a mother who may have passed it to her baby through breast-feeding. In another instance, an Ebola survivor sexually transmitted the virus a month after being released from quarantine. "Close contact with an infected individual is still by far the most common way for Ebola to spread, but this study supports previous research suggesting that the virus can persist in bodily fluids for a long time after recovery," said Jeremy Farrar, director of Britain's Wellcome Trust, which funded the study. "These unusual modes of transmission may have contributed to isolated flare-ups of infections towards the end of ... Read more

Related support groups: Sexually Transmitted Diseases, Vitamin/Mineral Supplementation during Pregnancy/Lactation, Lactation Augmentation, Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever

Ebola May Leave Some Survivors Blind

Posted 4 May 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, May 4, 2016 – About one-fifth of Ebola survivors in Sierra Leone developed severe or total vision loss within weeks of being declared free of the virus, a new study finds. Many survivors develop uveitis, a general term describing illnesses that trigger swelling and can destroy optical tissues, the researchers said. "Uveitis patients developed ocular symptoms a median of three weeks after discharge from Ebola treatment centers" in Sierra Leone, said a team led by Dr. John Mattia of the Lowell and Ruth Gess Eye Hospital in Decatur, Ga. The researchers were to present the findings Wednesday in Seattle at the annual meeting of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology. In the West African study, Mattia's team examined the eyes of 50 Ebola survivors with uveitis out of a group of about 270 survivors. A total of 62 eyes were given visual acuity tests. "Severe vision ... Read more

Related support groups: Eye Conditions, Visual Defect/Disturbance, Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever, Color Vision Defect (Acquired)

Two-Step Ebola Vaccine Strategy Works in Early Trial

Posted 19 Apr 2016 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, April 19, 2016 – A new two-step Ebola vaccine strategy has shown some promise in early clinical trials. The trials involved two candidate Ebola vaccines that were given to volunteers in separate shots, the researchers said. One vaccine was provided first as a "primer" shot, and the second was given as a "booster." The winning combo was a "primer" shot of a genetically engineered cold virus (AD-26), followed by a "booster" shot of a similarly altered smallpox virus (MVA), according to the report. In both cases, the viruses had been altered to include genetic material from Ebola, so any immune response to the vaccine could theoretically promote immunity to Ebola, the study authors explained. An immune response was observed after primary immunization with the AD-26 vaccine, and boosting with the MVA resulted in sustained elevation of specific immunity to Ebola, the researchers ... Read more

Related support groups: Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever, Vaccination and Prophlaxis

U.S. Moving Money From Ebola Fund to Help Fight Zika

Posted 6 Apr 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, April 6, 2016 – The Obama administration is shifting $589 million in funding to prepare for likely outbreaks of Zika virus in the United States during the upcoming mosquito season, senior officials announced Wednesday. The money includes $510 million originally intended for fighting the Ebola virus, which officials said remains a global health threat. U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell said the transferred money will support state-level mosquito-control efforts and Zika surveillance. It will also boost laboratory testing for Zika; fund efforts to develop diagnostic tests and potential vaccines; and pay for response efforts in Puerto Rico, the U.S. territory where the Zika virus currently is most active. Health officials believe it's only a matter of time before Zika – which is linked to serious birth defects – becomes active in the mainland ... Read more

Related support groups: Zika Virus Infection, Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever

Risk of Getting Ebola From Survivors Seems Low, Study Finds

Posted 29 Feb 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Feb. 29, 2016 – The risk of infection with the often-fatal Ebola virus from non-sexual contact with survivors seems low, researchers report. The British team analyzed nearly 6,000 articles on Ebola and found that, while the virus may be present in certain areas of survivors' bodies for an extended time, it is typically cleared from the blood within 16 days. In general, that means there is little risk of contracting Ebola from a survivor, the researchers concluded. However, an important exception is transmission of the virus through sex because Ebola remains in semen for months after a patient has recovered, the scientists added. The study was published Feb. 29 in the journal PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases. In 2014, three West African countries – Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone – were hit hard by the worst Ebola outbreak in history. More than 28,000 people were infected and ... Read more

Related support groups: Sexually Transmitted Diseases, Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever

Monkey Trial Offers Hope for Future Ebola Treatment for Humans

Posted 26 Feb 2016 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Feb. 25, 2016 – An antibody treatment for Ebola might be able to protect people for up to five days after they've been exposed to the deadly virus, a new animal study suggests. The treatment protected a group of three macaque monkeys exposed to a high dose of Ebola, even though researchers waited five days before injecting the antibodies, said senior study author Nancy Sullivan. All three monkeys had a fever, one of the first signs of Ebola infection, by the time they received treatment, said Sullivan, chief of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases' Biodefense Research Section. Public health officials plan to perform phase 1 trials on healthy humans with the antibody, to make sure the treatment is safe, before building a stockpile that could be used to test its effectiveness during a future Ebola outbreak, she added. "It's difficult to go from monkeys ... Read more

Related support groups: Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever

2 Experimental Ebola Vaccines Show Potential

Posted 24 Feb 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 24, 2016 – Two experimental Ebola vaccines showed promise in a clinical trial, researchers report. The vaccines triggered an immune response and were well-tolerated among people in the phase 2 trial conducted in Liberia, one of the West African nations hit hard by the 2014 Ebola outbreak. The trial was sponsored by the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Researchers had planned to continue testing the vaccines in a broader phase 3 trial with 28,000 people, but that was abandoned because the decline in new Ebola cases made the larger study impossible. The phase 2 trial tested the cAd3-EBOZ vaccine, which uses a chimpanzee-derived cold virus to deliver Ebola virus genetic material. The trial also tested the rVSV-ZEBOV vaccine, which uses the vesicular stomatitis virus – related to the rabies virus – to carry Ebola genetic material. The trial ... Read more

Related support groups: Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever, Vaccination and Prophlaxis

Ebola May Leave Lasting Neurological Problems

Posted 24 Feb 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 24, 2016 – Many Ebola survivors have brain symptoms that last long after other signs of the potentially fatal infection are gone, a new study finds. "While an end to the outbreak has been declared, these survivors are still struggling with long-term problems," study author Dr. Lauren Bowen, from the U.S. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, said in an American Academy of Neurology news release. The research team checked the health of 82 Ebola survivors in Liberia, one of three West African countries at the epicenter of the 2014 Ebola epidemic. Their average age was 35. At least six months after they were first infected with the virus, most had some type of neurological issue. Common problems included weakness, headache, memory loss, depressed mood, muscle pain, tremors, abnormal eye movements and irregular reflexes, the researchers said. Two of the ... Read more

Related support groups: Psychiatric Disorders, Mild Cognitive Impairment, Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever

Hard Lessons Learned From the Ebola Fight

Posted 7 Jan 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 6, 2016 – The Ebola epidemic in West Africa has been a human tragedy of terrible proportion, leaving 11,315 dead since it began in March 2014. But the epidemic in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone – the largest Ebola outbreak in history – also has provided a unique opportunity to study what had been a rare virus, potentially arming researchers with the know-how to protect people against future outbreaks. A trio of papers in the Jan. 7 New England Journal of Medicine reveal some of what has been learned about the virus, which has sickened more than 28,000 people: Women infected with Ebola had a higher survival rate than men, raising questions about what caused this advantage. An anti-malaria drug used when doctors ran out of their usual medication wound up reducing patients' risk of death by more than 30 percent. The much-hyped strategy of using blood plasma from Ebola ... Read more

Related support groups: Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever

Ebola Survivors Face Complications Months After Treatment, Study Finds

Posted 23 Dec 2015 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Dec. 22, 2015 – Some Ebola survivors develop vision and hearing problems as well as joint pain months after treatment, suggesting the virus lingers in some body fluids, new research shows. Records from the Ebola Virus Disease Survivor Clinic in the West African country of Sierra Leone showed the clinic provided care for 603 of the 661 people in the Port Loko district who survived an Ebola outbreak that began in December 2013. Complications were common among 277 survivors examined in March and April 2015, according to study senior author Dr. Sharmistha Mishra, an infectious disease specialist at St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto who spent five months as a clinical consultant for the Ebola response in Sierra Leone. Of those survivors, 76 percent experienced joint pain; 60 percent developed vision problems; and 24 percent developed hearing problems, the research published Dec. 22 ... Read more

Related support groups: Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever

U.S. Ebola Survivors Suffered Lingering Effects

Posted 17 Dec 2015 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 16, 2015 – People who survive Ebola don't walk away unscathed, doctors have learned. Every Ebola survivor treated in the United States has suffered from at least one chronic health issue for months following their release from the hospital, according to a report published Dec. 17 in the New England Journal of Medicine. These issues affected joints, muscles, moods and even the senses, as some patients have reported blurry vision and hearing loss, researchers found in a survey of eight Ebola survivors. "The story is not over in Ebola virus patients once they're discharged and go home," said lead researcher Dr. Tim Uyeki, the clinical team lead for the Ebola response mounted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "They may suffer from a wide range of illnesses." Eleven people wound up being treated for Ebola infection in the United States, and two of them ... Read more

Related support groups: Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever

Ebola Blood Level May Predict Odds of Death, Study Says

Posted 1 Dec 2015 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Dec. 1, 2015 – The levels of Ebola virus in a patient's blood can strongly predict the risk of death, a new study finds. Researchers evaluated data on nearly 700 people in the West African nation of Guinea who were hospitalized with Ebola between March 2014 and February 2015. A better understanding of the link between blood levels of Ebola and death risk will help researchers better assess the effectiveness of treatments, the study authors said. They found that death rates were 21 percent among those with low blood levels of the virus, 53 percent among those with medium levels, and 81 percent among those with high levels. When patients' average levels of Ebola in the blood increased 10-fold in July 2014, the death rate rose 14 percent, according to researchers led by Amadou Alpha Sall of the Pasteur Institute of Dakar, Senegal, and Simon Cauchemez of the Pasteur Institute in ... Read more

Related support groups: Diagnosis and Investigation, Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever

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