As if Ebola virus infection wasn't nightmare enough in the acute phase, more information is coming out about long term presence of the virus in two studies from NEJM Rick and I discuss on PodMed this week. It's worth mentioning that in the New York Times is also a report regarding sequela of infection in a nurse. Add to that previous tales of sequelae in survivors and the picture is bleak indeed. Okay, what does NEJM show?
The first article documented sexual transmission of Ebola virus infection from a presumed recovered man to a woman, who subsequently died. He was infected in September of 2014 and had unprotected sex with the woman in March of 2015. Molecular analysis of the virus showed it was the same between the couple. The second study looks at persistence of Ebola virus in the semen of 100 convalescent men and here are the results: "Ebola virus RNA was detected in the semen of all 9 men who had a specimen obtained 2 to 3 months after the onset of EVD (Ebola virus disease), in the semen of 26 of 40 (65%) who had a specimen obtained 4 to 6 months after onset, and in the semen of 11 of 43 (26%) who had a specimen obtained 7 to 9 months after onset..." Frightening indeed, although the infection potential is unknown. Clearly these studies coupled with other reports bring us to the inescapable conclusion that there's an awful lot we still don't know about this virus, with ongoing surveillance and research remaining a priority.
Other topics this week include cancer in elephants in JAMA, carbapenam resistant enterobacteriaceae in JAMA, and red wine, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular risk factors in Annals of Internal Medicine. Until next week,y'all live well.