Post-Ebola syndrome symptoms persist; researchers call for more studies on treatment

Ebola survivors are still suffering a year after the Ebola outbreaks in West Africa, and researchers have presented new information this week on the nature and degree of post-Ebola syndrome symptoms at the 26th European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases in Amsterdam.

The researchers are from the University of Liverpool in the U.K. and the King's Sierra Leone Partnership, an effort led by London-based King's Centre for Global Health to allow physicians to build relationships with sub-Saharan African partners, identify needs and collect baseline data.

One clinical team explored the neurological and psychiatric effects of post-Ebola syndrome in adult patients by conducting full neurological examinations, psychiatric screenings and specialist investigations with brain scan imaging.

"We found a broad set of neurological and psychiatric symptoms, from minor to extremely severe, are present in Ebola survivors well over a year after discharge from hospital," said Dr. Patrick Howlett, from the King's Sierra Leone Partnership. "In our selected group intermittent headaches were the most frequent neurological feature, with a variety of associated symptoms."

Common psychiatric symptoms included insomnia, depression and anxiety.

Another clinical team — led by Paul Steptoe, MBBS — examined 150 Ebola survivors with vision complaints. They discovered a range of eye complications in post-Ebola syndrome patients more diverse than previously reported, including cases of cataracts in young survivors.

Ultimately, the researchers involved say more needs to be done to care for those whoa re still sufferings, saying "The data in both sets of research supports the need for larger, case-controlled studies. Post-Ebola syndrome is not going away and those with the condition deserve better treatment, so we will continue to research and provide hands on support to ensure this happens."



More articles on Ebola:
Obama administration to allocate leftover Ebola funds to fight Zika outbreak
Researchers propose alternative Ebola screening program for US airports
WHO says Ebola no longer a world health emergency

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