Ebola leaves long-lasting neurological issues for survivors who have to deal with the disease throughout their life.
Following the last hospitalization of Pauline Cafferkey in the Royal Free Hospital of London under the premises of new treatment due to late complications posed by Ebola, the U.S. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke conducted a study on Ebola survivors.
The study included 82 Ebola survivors who were infected during the Liberia Ebola outbreak. The main conclusion drawn from this study is that Ebola leaves long-lasting neurological issues for survivors. The Ebola survivors who were included in the study have been previously treated for the disease with successful results.
However, the latest assessment showed that they were prone to neurological issues six months following their successful treatment. When the research team looked at the most common problems the Ebola survivors faced, they found these had neurological roots.
The Ebola survivors reported muscle pain and headaches among the most mild neurological issues. In addition, memory loss, suicidal and depressive moods were found to be most common among the study participants.
Pauline Cafferkey is 40 years old. The South Lanarkshire, Scotland resident is a nurse who travelled to Sierra Leone to help Ebola patients there. In December 2014 she contracted the virus and has since been treated in various hospitals. The latest hospitalization was also due to Ebola complications.
It seems that for Ebola survivors, neurological abnormalities are common at least six months after individuals contracted the virus. In the U.S. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke study, two thirds of the group under scrutiny presented weakness, muscle pain.
Half of the group presented memory loss and severe headaches. One person in the group suffered hallucinations, while another two were found to be suicidal. The average age of the Ebola survivors is 35.
Since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak in west Africa, it is estimated that 11,300 people have died, while over 17,000 managed to survive the deadly virus. The long-term effects of Ebola are still little known to the scientific community. Health agencies around the world as well as the World Health Organization are asking for further research to be conducted into Ebola, the virus causing the disease and the effects on Ebola patients.
The current study which found that Ebola leaves long-lasting neurological issues for survivors will be discussed at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology.
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