Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Ebola As An STD--New Evidence

(Source)

I have long warned that Ebola was on the path to becoming a sexually transmitted disease (STD). (See here, here, here, here and here). So it was interesting to see the following from a Reuters article on the persistence of Ebola:
Isolated flare-ups of Ebola may point to a higher risk of transmission via the semen of male survivors than previously thought, undermining hopes of ending West Africa's deadly outbreak by the end of the year.

The World Health Organization's advice is that all male survivors should be tested three months after the onset of symptoms and then monthly until they know they have no risk of passing on the virus through their semen, Bruce Aylward, head of the WHO's Ebola response, told a news conference.

But a forthcoming study in the New England Journal of Medicine, based on around 200 survivors, found that around half still had traces of the virus in their semen after six months, a clinician familiar with the study told Reuters.

"The old advice of three months is no longer good," the clinician said. "The number of people with persistent virus in their semen is much greater than expected."

The clinician, who was not authorized to speak about the study, added that the risk might not only be from sex but also from masturbation.

"It's not the sex that is dangerous, it's the semen that is dangerous," said Aylward, who mentioned the study during a news conference but did not give details. "How people actually get exposed, in soiled linens or whatever, is not clear."

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