75% of Ebola survivors reported persistent symptoms a year after infection

September 14, 2022

2 minutes to read

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A study of Ebola survivors showed that 75% had persistent symptoms one year after infection, that these symptoms regressed over time, and more than half continued to report symptoms for up to 5 years after infection.

“During the outbreak in West Africa in 2014, my colleagues and I were hearing from Ebola survivors that they They are not back to normalDavid Alan Wall, MDD., a professor at the Institute of Global Health and Infectious Diseases at the University of North Carolina (UNC) in Chapel Hill and co-director of the United Nations University Viral Hemorrhagic Fever Research Group, said Helio. They had headaches, fatigue, muscle aches, and brain fog. Many have asked us to study this and try to figure out the cause of these Ebola symptoms.”


Wall and colleagues evaluated longitudinal symptoms, including headache, fatigue, joint pain, muscle pain, hearing loss, vision loss, and numbness of the hands or feet among participants in the Liberian Ebola survivor study. According to the study, generalized linear mixed-effects models were used to calculate the probabilities of reporting symptoms and classifying them as interfering with daily life.

In total, 326 survivors recorded an average of 389 days of acute Ebola virus infection between June 2015 and June 2016. Upon enrollment, 75.2% of study participants reported at least one presentation, 85.8% with life. The study showed that reporting of symptoms decreased over a mean follow-up period of 5.9 years (OR per 90 days of follow-up = 0.96; 95% CI, 0.950.97) with all symptoms reduced except for numbness of the hands or feet. According to the study, of the 311 participants with 5 years of follow-up, 52% reported having symptoms and 29% of them interfering with their lives.

These results are not different from what we see in patients who have had COVID-19 and who then have long-term COVID. One recent study showed that the globally estimated combined prevalence of a post-COVID-19 condition was “substantial,” with an estimated 200 million people infected Health consequences after COVID-19.

According to the study, the most common symptoms were fatigue (23%), memory problems (14%), shortness of breath (13%), sleep problems (11%) and joint pain (10%). Estimates of the prevalence of these long-term symptoms after 30, 60, 90 and 120 days after infection were 37%, 25%, 32%, and 49%, respectively.

“There is something about viruses like Ebola and SARS-CoV-2 that leads some people to experience long-term symptoms,” Wall said.

According to Wohl, he and colleagues previously looked for evidence of inflammation in these Ebola survivors, but found no difference in levels of inflammatory markers and in levels of asymptomatic survivors or in family members who never had Ebola. He added that some experts believe that people infected with Ebola and COVID-19 harbor the virus, and that it can appear periodically and trigger immune responses that contribute to symptoms. Unfortunately, there has been no strong evidence for this yet, and it is not clear how these intermittent episodes of viral exposure will contribute to persistent symptoms, he said.

“Caring for Ebola survivors does not end when they leave the Ebola treatment unit. Like many who have contracted coronavirus, many who have contracted Ebola continue to suffer from health issues that deprive them of quality of life. We need to learn more about these post-viral phenomena, including their causes. So we can identify appropriate treatments. What we learn from these Ebola survivors may also help us better understand the long-running COVID.”