Post-Ebola Syndrome After the Cure?
West Africans fortunate to survive Ebola may go on to develop what’s being called “post-Ebola syndrome,” characterized by vision loss and long-term poor health, a doctor told a World health Organization.
“We are seeing a lot of people with vision problems,” Dr. Margaret Nanyonga, a psycho-social support officer for WHO, said at a conference in Sierra Leone last week. “Some complain of clouded vision, but for others the visual loss is progressive. I have seen two people who are now blind.”
Approximately 50 percent of Ebola survivors she has treated in Kenema, Sierra Leone’s third-largest city, report declining health after fighting off the deadly virus, Nanyonga said. Besides deteriorating vision, they are complaining of body aches, chest pain, headaches and fatigue. This is consistent with symptoms experienced by survivors in previous outbreaks, she said.
Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease expert who is a professor at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in Nashville, Tennessee, said he was not aware of a post-Ebola syndrome but was not surprised that health of West African Ebola survivors deteriorates after recovery.