Thursday, November 26, 2015

42 days is not long enough

Dr. Mosoka Fallah, the leader of the outbreak response who traced most of the cases through Monrovia and Liberia during the heat of the outbreak, said there was an overreliance in medical facilities on fever being an indicator of possible infection. “There should be a high level of suspicion because 90 percent of the patients lie,” said Fallah. In other words, Gbotoe should never have slipped through the cracks.

The boy's mother may have been an ebola survivor herself.

The 42 days number came, if I recall correctly, from a survey of patients who had been exposed, and represented the largest time known between exposure and showing symptoms. I think it should be revisited. And we know now of reservoirs of live virus in survivors lasting months after they are nominally cured, in semen and the fluid of the eye and who knows where else. If it got into those spots, it can get back out again. How long are antibodies good for? Can a milder infection produce "Typhoid Marys?"

"Ebola-free" is too strong a claim. Unfortunately.

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