Long-Term Effects of Ebola

        The largest outbreak in history of Ebola is going on now in Africa. Any chance of surviving Ebola largely hinges upon early access to medical care. Patients must contact a doctor very soon when they start feeling symptoms such as fever, headache, and joint and muscle pain in order to get the slightest chance of survival. The long-term effects of Ebola have not been well studied, and doctors will likely learn a lot more about the disease’s aftermath from the most recent outbreak in West Africa.

         With many people currently infected and being treated for Ebola the survivors are allowing us to learn the common after effects of the virus. The “post-Ebola syndrome” tends to include aches, extreme fatigue and many visual problems. Recent survivors are also at risk for arthralgia, a type of joint and bone pain that can feel similar to arthritis. Many of these symptoms may partially result from the body’s release of immune system chemicals called cytokines. These chemicals fight the disease, but can make people feel sick.

        Dehydration, low blood pressure and nutrition problems that are experienced during an Ebola infection, can also injure a person’s muscles and nerves and take time to recover. Another well known group of side effects is the virus often persists in semen and breast milk and can still be transmitted for up to three months to significant others and children, which, to many, is a concern.Ebola

        In the most recent Ebola outbreak in West Africa, about 50 percent of survivors have reported visual problems. Complications with eyes and vision is often caused by an inflammatory condition known as uveitis. Uveitis, or inflammation of the inner workings of the eye, can cause excessive tearing, eye sensitivity and inflammation and even blindness. Four out of every twenty  survivors of the 1995 Ebola outbreak that occurred in the Democratic Republic of the Congo developed eye pain or vision problems after having the virus, but the symptoms improved after many topical treatments and steroids.

Although it can take months, most patients who have survived do fully recover from the virus. No one knows exactly why the survivors experience these symptoms. They wonder whether they are caused by the disease or the treatment of the disease, or possibly the heavy disinfection that the patient goes through.


Is there anything patients can do to avoid these long term effects?

Because there isn’t a vaccine for Ebola, how can someone prevent the virus?

Is a vaccine possible for Ebola?

5 thoughts on “Long-Term Effects of Ebola

  1. This article is very important to people all over the world, especially Africa. This last year was the biggest outbreak of Ebola in world history. Ebola was and has been a huge problem to thousands of people. I learned that this disease is spread so easily, because you don’t know you have it till after 10 days. Which means you could be spreading it to other people when you don’t even know you have it. The symptoms just get worse after the longer you have Ebola. There is not a very good likely rate that you will survive from it. I learned that you could become blind and many other problems to having this disease. I did some research and found some ways you could prevent getting Ebola and all of these long term problems. http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/prevention/

  2. This article was very good and helped me to understand more about Ebola and how serious it is. I was really surprised of how much Ebola effects the body. I looked at a different site to answer your question of what people can do to prevent Ebola. One thing that a person can do is to practice careful hygiene. You want to make sure you wash your hands often and well. Next, make sure you avoid areas that people are being treated with Ebola. Finally, if you are a health care that is exposed to Ebola, you want to make sure you are wearing the appropriate clothing. http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/prevention/

  3. I found this article interesting because I didn’t know the after affects of ebola. I feel like nobody really talks about it because there weren’t that many survivors. I also found it interesting that ebola had a affect on the eyes. I didn’t realize that once a person gets ebola, that some of the after affects can affect them or the rest of their lives. I found this interesting article about the process of how people get over ebola. It talks about how ebola willefect their body for years to come. http://www.cbsnews.com/news/surviving-ebola-for-those-who-live-through-it-what-lies-ahead/

  4. I remember the big Ebola scare. It was mostly focused in Africa however some doctors brought it back to America. It sounds like the long term effects are bad. The eye problems could be horrible with the possibility of becoming blind. I don’t think there is anything patients can do to prevent the long term effects. To prevent the virus you should follow the steps on this website: http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/prevention/index.html. I hope a vaccine is possible for Ebola so more lives can get saved.

  5. This article was interesting because I am so surprised at how many symptoms Ebola has. Most diseases has one or two distinct symptoms, but Ebola has so many primary symptoms associated with it. Actually, the symptoms take eight to ten days to appear in a person. This is most likely the reason it spreads to quickly in Africa. People don’t know they have it yet, so they don’t use caution to not spread it. The symptoms that appear include fever, weakness, headache, and sore throat. Eventually these symptoms develop into much worse things like vomiting, or impaired kidney or liver function.

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