Shocking. Remarkable. A “lump-in-your-throat moment.”
Experts had strong reactions to news that the current Ebola outbreak in Guinea “almost certainly” stems from a survivor of the 2014–2016 West Africa outbreak, STAT’s Helen Branswell reports.
A genetic analysis posted on a virology website Friday found that the survivor harbored the virus for at least 5 years after initial infection—shattering the assumption that the new outbreak was caused by a new spillover from nature.
A Record: The virus has been known to lurk in survivors, but this would likely be the longest period that a virus has ever persisted between outbreaks, WHO emergencies chief Michael Ryan told a press briefing, AP reports.
Ryan emphasized the need to monitor survivors—and not stigmatize them. Most of those sickened by Ebola recover and are virus-free within 6 months.