Ebola is Back

Actually it never left. Ebola is endemic in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The government has declared an outbreak after 17 people in the town of Bikoro are suspected of dying of the gruesome disease. The WHO statement says:

All cases were reported from iIkoko Iponge health facility located about 30 kilometres from Bikoro. Health facilities in Bikoro have very limited functionality, and rely on international organizations to provide supplies that frequently stock out…We know that addressing this outbreak will require a comprehensive and coordinated response. WHO will work closely with health authorities and partners to support the national response.

According to BBC News, “this is the ninth time an Ebola outbreak has been recorded in the DR Congo. The virus was first discovered there in 1976 (when the country was known as Zaire) and is named after the Ebola river.”

Ebola is thought to be transmitted to humans via contact with infected animals such as the fruit bat, or eating infected bushmeat. However, it is worth noting that scientists aren’t exactly sure how Ebola is spread, at least initially, so let that thought fester. Once a person is infected, the virus can be spread through blood or body fluids or objects contaminated with body fluids.

The biggest outbreak of Ebola occurred in West Africa from roughly 2014 to 2016 and killed over 11,000 people. According to the CDC, “Many of these survivors suffer from persistent medical conditions after recovery from Ebola, including joint pain, eye problems, headaches, and other chronic health issues.”

 

Lifelong Ebola Immunity?

Fourteen survivors from the first known Ebola outbreak in 1976 appear to have developed immunity against the disease, according to a study published this week in the Journal of Infectious Diseases. The study showed that the survivors blood contains antibodies that protect against, and in some cases even destroy, the Ebola virus.

An earlier study had shown that Ebola survivors have some immunity after 14 years, but this new study shows that protection lasts for at least 40 years. The Ebola virus is known for hanging around longer than anyone would like, frequently hibernating in eyes and semen. This “tenacity might explain why survivors continue to produce antibodies against it, long after they’ve finally cleared it from their bodies.”

All of the 14 people they studied still carry antibodies that recognize at least one of the Ebola virus’s proteins, and four had antibodies that could completely neutralize the virus. “Those are the kinds of responses you’d like to see in a vaccine—long-lasting and robust,” says Rimoin, “which means that these antibodies are of great value to science.”

Please Don’t Dress Like “Sexy Ebola” For Halloween

There are plenty of offensive costumes to go around during Halloween. Today’s offender is: Sexy Ebola. Ebola is a gruesome, terrible disease that wreaked havoc on West Africa and had lasting impacts that are still being dealt with:

“We have demonstrated that a year following acute disease, survivors of the West African EVD outbreak continue to have a higher chance of disability in mobility, cognition and vision than their close contacts. Issues such as anxiety and depression persist in EVD survivors and must not be neglected,” said lead researcher Dr Soushieta Jagadesh.

By all means, dress as Ebola for Halloween. Or dress as a containment team member. Just don’t belittle the disease and call a short dress paired with a face mask “sexy Ebola.” The price tag is also pretty offensive. Sixty bucks and this thing doesn’t even come with the boots?!

sexy-ebola-costume-7_large

 

Please Don’t Dress Like “Sexy Ebola” For Halloween

There are plenty of offensive costumes to go around during Halloween. Today’s offender is: Sexy Ebola.  Ebola is a gruesome, terrible disease that wreaked havoc on West Africa and had lasting impacts that are still being dealt with. By all means, dress as Ebola for Halloween. Or dress as a containment team member. Just don’t belittle the disease and call a short dress paired stupidly with a face mask “sexy Ebola.” The price tag is also pretty offensive. Sixty bucks and this thing doesn’t even come with the boots?!

sexy-ebola-costume-7_large