Why it’s difficult to declare the end of an Ebola outbreak

ebola
Image credit: UNMEER/Martine Perret

The World Health Organization on [July 24] declared the official end of the latest outbreak of Ebola in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, which tallied 54 cases, including 33 deaths. But a study published…in the Lancet Infectious Diseases highlights just how tenuous such declarations can be when it comes to Ebola.

The study, led by researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, traced a puzzling cluster of Ebola cases in Liberia to a mother who appeared to have had a stealthy, undiagnosed infection for more than a year. The cluster came to light when the woman’s 15-year-old son arrived at a hospital in Monrovia on November 17, 2015—more than two months after the country had been declared free of the disease in the wake of a massive outbreak that began in 2013.

Related article:  Calling for a halt to gene-edited babies, World Health Organization stops short of 'all-out moratorium'

Such a scenario isn’t unheard of for Ebola. Earlier studies have found that the virus can lurk in men’s semen for up to 18 months after a victim recovers. It has also been spotted in the vaginal fluids and breast milk of asymptomatic women.

While researchers say such poorly understood, stealthy cases are rare, they still “highlight the risk of Ebola virus disease flare-ups even after an outbreak is declared over.” They urge continued vigilance and surveillance.

Read full, original post: Ebola mysteriously hid in a woman for more than a year before spreading

Outbreak
Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
Talking Biotech
Genetics Unzipped
Video: Test everyone – Slovakia goes its own way to control COVID

Video: Test everyone – Slovakia goes its own way to control COVID

As Europe sees record coronavirus cases and deaths, Slovakia is testing its entire adult population. WSJ's Drew Hinshaw explains how ...
mag insects image superjumbo v

Disaster interrupted: Which farming system better preserves insect populations: Organic or conventional?

A three-year run of fragmentary Armageddon-like studies had primed the journalism pumps and settled the media framing about the future ...
dead bee desolate city

Are we facing an ‘Insect Apocalypse’ caused by ‘intensive, industrial’ farming and agricultural chemicals? The media say yes; Science says ‘no’

The media call it the “Insect Apocalypse”. In the past three years, the phrase has become an accepted truth of ...
globalmethanebudget globalcarbonproject cropped x

Infographic: Cows cause climate change? Agriculture scientist says ‘belching bovines’ get too much blame

A recent interview by Caroline Stocks, a UK journalist who writes about food, agriculture and the environment, of air quality ...
organic hillside sweet corn x

Organic v conventional using GMOs: Which is the more sustainable farming?

Many consumers spend more for organic food to avoid genetically modified products in part because they believe that “industrial agriculture” ...
benjamin franklin x

Are most GMO safety studies funded by industry?

The assertion that biotech companies do the research and the government just signs off on it is false ...
favicon

Environmental Working Group: EWG challenges safety of GMOs, food pesticide residues

Known by some as the "Environmental Worrying Group," EWG lobbies for tighter GMO legislation and famously puts out annual "dirty dozen" list of fruits and ...
m hansen

Michael Hansen: Architect of Consumers Union ongoing anti-GMO campaign

Michael K. Hansen (born 1956) is thought by critics to be the prime mover behind the ongoing campaign against agricultural biotechnology at Consumer Reports. He is an ...
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
Optional. Mail on special occasions.
Send this to a friend