The Ebola virus could survive in the human body for five years

A new analysis has brought worrying new information about the Ebola virus and, in particular, its lifespan in the human body. For information, scientists already knew that the virus can hide in parts of the human body where the immune system is weak, such as: B. Eyeballs and testicles.

The person may drop the virus for a while and pass it on to other people. Scientists recently found that the Ebola virus not only dries up in the human body, but can also reappear after a few years and hit it.

The current Ebola virus is very similar to the one that emerged in West Africa in 2014

Guinea is currently facing a new Ebola epidemic that has already infected 18 people and killed 9 people. Note that the last epidemic of this type occurred in West Africa between 2014 and 2016. However, there appears to be a link between this recent epidemic and the current epidemic. To find out, the Guinean Ministry of Health sent three samples of the current variant to the laboratory of the World Health Organization at the Pasteur Institute in Dakar, Senegal.

The researchers sequenced the samples there to determine the components of the genome and compare them with previous variants of the virus. They found that this current variant was very similar to the “Makona variant” from 2014, which killed more than 11,000 people in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. There were effectively only a dozen genetic differences between the two variants, which “would be much less than what would be expected with sustained human transmission,” the researchers said in their published analysis. Friday, March 12th, on the virological.org discussion forum.

The Guinean Ministry of Health sent three samples of the current variant to the laboratory of the World Health Organization at the Pasteur Institute in Dakar, Senegal (photo illustration). Photo credit: Shutterstock / Leonie Broekstra

The origin of the virus has not yet been determined.

In fact, in their report, the researchers claim that the virus has not been tacitly transmitted between people in West Africa for the past five years, otherwise it would have experienced more than 100 different mutations. Instead, scientists say the virus stayed in the infected person’s body during the last outbreak in 2016, then spread through sexual transmission and caused the current outbreak.

According to statements from STAT News, the first known case of the current epidemic in Guinea is a nurse infected while treating her sick mother. But the nurse died last January and the virus could have spread to those present at her funeral. In any case, Science Magazine believes that more research is needed to find out exactly where the virus has spread.

The researchers also argue in another article from virological.org that the possibility of Ebola resuscitation from a survivor’s body after five years “poses new challenges for survivors, families and their communities, but also for the health of the system. must create the ways to work with communities, known and unknown survivors, without creating more stigma ”.