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Infectious period of Ebola Survivors post-recovery

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Genevieve Hutchinson

Senior Projects Manager, Health

Normal user

19 Sep 2014, 17:33

Hi everyone,

I was wondering if there was any definitive information on how long someone / their body fluids are infectious for once their blood tests come back clear of Ebola and they are continent and ambulant?

I understand the ebolavirus remains in semen for 7-9 weeks post recovery, possibly vaginal fluid for the same time (?), and in breast milk for up to a couple of weeks I believe, after recovery and that these fluids are therefore still a risk of transmission.

- Is there anything on how long the virus stays in faeces, urine, sweat, saliva, mucous? How long do survivors need to take particular precautions for, and what precautions? (In addition to using a condom during sex).

- Even if the answer is there is no definitive answer yet, what advice are survivors being given when they leave a treatment centre?

Many thanks in advance,

Genevieve

Pascale Delchevalerie

Nutrition Advisor MSF Belgium

Normal user

26 Sep 2014, 11:02

Hi,

For semen, it is three months, so we distribute condoms at exit of ETC.
For breast milk, it is not so sure (2weeks or more?), anyway, in the practice (according to experienced field worker), the breastfeeding mothers who survive, usually don't want to breastfeed anymore, they are too afraid to infect their child.
For other liquids, we don't know.
most of sick pregnant women do not reach the point of delivering but once they had one who was ready to be discharged: they did a ponction of the amniotic liquid and PCR was still +, so they kept her in the unit for safe delivery.
But PCR can also detect inoffensive RNA pieces of death virus, so not sure 100% that + liquid in convalescent patient is infectious.
Operational research on determining more precisely the infectiousness of convalescents is foreseen, but not easy to put in place in the actual situation.

Hope this help,
Pascale

Genevieve Hutchinson

Senior Projects Manager, Health

Normal user

26 Sep 2014, 11:50

It does. Really helpful, thank you Pascale, much appreciated,

Genevieve

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