People who survive Ebola infection face a dramatically higher risk of dying – most likely from severe kidney damage – within a year of leaving the hospital, in line with a study of survivors of disease in Guinea.
Researchers who studied over1,100 survivors of the Ebola virus outbreak – which swept through West Africa on the earth’s largest epidemic from 2013 to 2016 – found their mortality rates 12 months after release from the hospital were as much as five times more than anticipated in general Guinean population.
Death rates have been higher among those that have been in the hospital for longer, the study observed, suggesting that patients who had a more extreme condition of Ebola could have yet increased post-disease risks.
The observations show a pressing need for more research of the long-term effects of Ebola epidemic, the researchers said, particularly since the number of Ebola survivors has risen significantly with two massive pandemics in the last five years.
A continuing outbreak of Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo has turned into the world’s second-largest in history since it started in August last year. It has spread to contaminate almost 3,000 people in Congo to this point, killing two-thirds of them.
In the survivor study, posted on Wednesday in the Lancet Infectious Diseases, scientists led by Ibrahima Socé Fall, an emergency response expert at the World Health Organization (WHO), studied 1,130 Guinean survivors of the 2013-16 outbreak.
Over a follow-up interval of an average of 22 months, 59 deaths have been reported, of which 37 were temporarily attributed to renal failure based on studies by family members of the symptoms suffered by their dead loved one, the researchers stated.