Woman 'catches' Ebola after unprotected sex with survivor 6 months after he was cured

Woman 'catches' Ebola after unprotected sex with survivor 6 months after he was cured
Published: 2015 May 03 11:57:57 (8831 Views)
A woman in Liberia is feared to have caught Ebola after sleeping with a survivor more than six months after he was cured.

The 44-year-old, from Monrovia, was diagnosed with Ebola on March 20, 14 days after sleeping with a man, 46, who had previously tested negative for the lethal virus.

If the transmission is confirmed it will mean that the virus survived for 199 days, suggesting patients stay infectious for more than twice as long as previously thought.

While doctors have long known it is possible to catch Ebola through sex, the previous limit for the virus surviving was thought to be 82 days.

Medics in Liberia, where this woman is currently the only confirmed case, are now advising all survivors to wear condoms until the result can be confirmed.

The new discovery potentially raises fears that eradicating the virus could be much more difficult than previously thought in countries where contraceptives are scarce.

According to a report from the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, the man was initially infected with Ebola on September 9, 2014.

He was admitted to an Ebola treatment unit on September 23 and a blood test the same week showed signs of the virus in his bloodstream.

He was released from the treatment centre October 7 after his symptoms cleared up and several tests showed no sign of the virus in his bloodstream.



However, it is thought that traces of the virus survived in his semen, meaning he could have infected the woman after having sex with her on March 7 this year.

The woman first began showing signs of the virus seven days later, was admitted to hospital on March 17, sent to an isolation two days later, and was officially diagnosed on March 20.

The report says: '[We] found no history of travel by patient A, no interaction with visitors from Sierra Leone or Guinea, no recent funeral attendance, and no contact with a person with symptoms consistent with Ebola.'

Liberia's last confirmed Ebola patient also died on March 27 while in an isolation unit, meaning it is highly unlikely the woman caught it from them.

While medics say they cannot confirm that the disease was passed on through sex, they have advised all survivors to use condoms every time they have sex.

Doctors also discovered that the man had slept with another woman, 45, with no protection, 'three to five times', but she shows no signs of infection.

According to the World Health Organization, 26,298 people have been infected with Ebola in the West African outbreak, and 10,892 have died, mostly in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone.

Liberia has had no new Ebola cases in five weeks and the country's last confirmed case died March 27. The WHO declares countries to be Ebola-free 42 days after the last known case. If there are no additional cases, Liberia could be declared Ebola-free May 9.

A total of 33 new cases were diagnosed in Sierra Leone and Guinea in the week ending April 26, the WHO says. No health workers have been diagnosed with Ebola for the past two weeks.

More than 865 health workers have been infected with the virus and 504 have died.



Source - Dailymail

Tags: Ebola, infection,
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