Many Ebola survivors grapple with debilitating neurological issues, study finds

Individuals who survive an Ebola infection may face long-term neurological difficulties and psychiatric problems, according to a study published July 11 in Emerging Infectious Diseases.

Analyzing patients during the initial outbreak, in 2015, researchers examined patients documents from 300 Ebola survivors mainly in Sierra Leone. Researchers asked 34 patients to visit a neuropsychiatric clinic in 2016 to undergo a comprehensive set of exams with specialists.

Researchers found these Ebola survivors often struggle from "post-Ebola syndrome" and were unable to care for themselves after the outbreak due to the ongoing mental effects, such as stroke, headaches, nerve pain, depression and anxiety.

"We knew that a disease as severe as Ebola would leave survivors with major problems — however, it took me aback to see young and previously active people who had survived but were now unable to move half their bodies, or talk, or pick up their children," Janet Scott, PhD, a professor at Britain's University of Liverpool who co-led the research, told Reuters.

The World Health Organization estimates roughly 10,000 of the 28,000 people infected with Ebola survived after the outbreak.

"Post-Ebola syndrome is not going away, and those with the condition deserve better treatment," Dr. Scott told Reuters.

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