Ebola survivors’ sex warning

By Drum Digital
15 April 2015

The World Health Organization (WHO) has urged Ebola survivors to abstain from sex or use condoms “until further notice”.

This comes after a sample of a man’s semen tested positive for the deadly virus six months after he was declared Ebola-free in Liberia.

It’s still unclear whether Ebola can still be spread at this point. But officials have launched further investigations to evaluate the risks.

“We need to understand better if this particular case is an anomaly [glitch], or if there really are groups of people who might [carry] parts of the Ebola virus longer,” WHO spokesman Tarik Jasarevic told Agence France-Presse (AFP).

WHO officials are conducting studies and discussing whether Ebola survivors should be regularly screened three months after being declared free of the disease, AFP said.

“We should have answers to allow us to give more definitive advice to survivors very, very quickly,” Dr Bruce Aylward, who heads WHO’s Ebola response, said.

According to the WHO, there is no current evidence to suggest that the active Ebola virus is present in vaginal fluids once someone has recovered. Ebola is known to spread through close contact with the bodily fluids of a person who has the active virus and shows symptoms of the disease – such as a high fever.

Experts emphasise that people who have recovered from Ebola do not pose any risks to the general public and should not be isolated.

Sources: BBC and ibtimes.com

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