“Shocking” genetic data indicates that Ebola remained dormant in survivors for 5-6 years

“Shocking” genetic data indicates that Ebola remained dormant in survivors for 5-6 years
An employee at Nazrikor Hospital raises his shirt sleeve as he prepares to receive the Ebola vaccination in Nazrikor on February 24, 2022. It was the Nazrikor Hospital where the first cases of Ebola were detected at the end of January 2022.
Zoom in / An employee at Nazrikor Hospital raises his shirt sleeve as he prepares to receive the Ebola vaccination in Nazrikor on February 24, 2022. It was the Nazrikor Hospital where the first cases of Ebola were detected at the end of January 2022.

Behind the Ebola viruses New outbreak in Guinea They are strikingly similar to the viruses identified during the massive West African outbreak that spanned from 2013 to 2016, according to a new genetic analysis. The results indicate that the virus may have silently persisted in a survivor for at least five years, and that the current outbreak was caused by that unlucky person, rather than spreading from an animal warehouse.

at The genetic analysis was published online on FridayA group of international researchers reported that the Ebola viruses collected from the current outbreak in Guinea only have ten or so genetic variants of Ebola variants collected from the same region in Guinea in 2014. Based on what researchers know about the frequency of Ebola collection such as These genetic substitutions – their evolutionary rate – this number of variances accumulated should have reached more than 110 in that time period, not 12.

“This number of substitutions is much less than would be expected during the continuous human-to-human transition,” the researchers write in their analysis. Instead, they note that this slow rate of development is the “hallmark of persistent infection”.

“Therefore, it is likely that the standard case of a group of Guinea 2022 infected from a permanent source, such as sexual transmission from [Ebola] Survivor, “they concluded.

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The Ebola virus has been known to persist in some survivors, particularly in places where the immune system could be depressed, such as the testicles or eyeballs. A 2016 study I reported a resurgence of the virus in the semen of a survivor more than 500 days after the initial infection.

However, the period in excess of five years was “shockingIt raises a variety of concerns to many survivors of previous outbreaks, some of whom may have contracted mild cases of Ebola without realizing it. In particular, many people known to have survived Ebola face stigma, and likely That this problem persists for many years exacerbates this problem.

In 2013-2016 West Africa outbreakMore than 28,000 people have contracted the virus and more than 11,000 have died. It is the largest outbreak of Ebola in history. Most of the cases and deaths were in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. The outbreak began with a reported case in an 18-month-old boy in December 2013; The boy is believed to have contracted the virus from a bat.

The current outbreak, announced on February 14, has sickened at least 18 people and killed nine. Vaccination efforts are underway to stop the spread of the virus.

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