Men who have recovered from the Ebola virus disease (EVD) should practice good hygiene and safe sex at least 12 months after the onset of the symptoms to avoid sexually transmitting the disease, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said.

medical personnel taking care of an Ebola patient

According to WHO fact sheet on the highly contagious disease, the virus persists in the bodily fluids even months after a person is declared Ebola free.

“Ebola virus is known to persist in immune-privileged sites in some people who have recovered from Ebola virus disease. These sites include the testicles, the inside of the eye, and the central nervous system.

“In women who have been infected while pregnant, the virus persists in the placenta, amniotic fluid and fetus. In women who have been infected while breastfeeding, the virus may persist in breast milk,” the WHO Ebola virus disease fact sheet states.

A few cases have been recorded on the possibility of sexual transmission of the virus, even months after the survivor recovers.

NairobiNews reports that to a report by the Centre For Disease Control (CDC) on March 20, 2015, a woman in Monrovia, Liberia was confirmed to have contracted the virus possibly through sexual contact with a survivor six months after he was released from the treatment centre.

 

 

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ZIMENE MUMAKONDA

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