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Is Sex Bringing Ebola Back?

Medic-ALL (03:29:2014) -DISEASE

Its been a year long outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus and whilst the whole world looked back at the losses and lessons from the epidemic this past year, the virus appears to be making an unheralded comeback.

On Friday, in Liberia (one of the hardest hit countries alongside Sierra Leone and Guinea) , a 44 year old victim of the deadly virus was reported dead. There are indications that the new case may have occured via sexual transmission from a survivor she was said to be dating. Additional tests are being carried out to confirm this.
Research has shown traces of Ebolacan remain  in the  semen of some survivors for at least 82 days after the onset of symptoms. There is no conclusive scientific proof these traces are infectious. But anecdotal evidence in the latest case, and several others in West Africa, along with and confirmed transmission of Marburg, another viral hemorrhagic fever, have led experts to warn of the potential risk of sexually transmitted Ebola.

The World Health Organization, as a precautionary measure, advises Ebola survivors to abstain from sex during a 90-day period following recovery. At the very least, they should practice safe sex.

The case threatens to undermine the country's efforts to end a year long outbreak which has claimed over 10,300 lives across the African continent.

The country was on it's way to completing a 42-days period without a new case of the disease, which is necessary to declare the country free of the disease when it recorded the recent case.

Ebola continues to spread in Africa, though not as bad as it was some months ago. 79 new cases were reported last week. 

Though, it was known that Ebola was largely transmitted through body fluids of close contacts, no case of transmission via sex had been previously documented. 

Ref: World Health Organization, NBCNews


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