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Mystery ‘post-Ebola syndrome’ emerges in West Africa

AFP-JIJI

As the Ebola epidemic retreats across West Africa, international health authorities are turning their attention to the little understood long-term effects of the often-deadly virus on the survivors.

There is little research on patients cured of the tropical fever, but the World Health Organization (WHO) has acknowledged that many are experiencing crippling complications long after walking out of treatment units.

Matshidiso Moeti, the WHO’s new head in Africa, said that Liberian survivors had been reporting a range of problems, including sight and hearing impairment.

“We need to be aware that (complications) may be occurring and pay attention when people are being treated in case there is something that can be done to help them,” she said in the Liberian capital of Monrovia.

Moeti said the U.N. agency initially focused on keeping people alive in its battle against the worst-ever outbreak of the virus, which it says has left almost 11,000 people dead in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone.

“So we are very much learning about this,” Moeti said.

More than 26,000 people have been infected with Ebola since the outbreak began in December 2013, according to the WHO, which admits the official mortality figures are probably some way short of the real death toll.

The epidemic ravaged the three countries, infecting hundreds of people a week during its peak last autumn, but the spread has slowed to a crawl.

Liberia, once the hardest hit country, has reported no new cases since the last patient died on March 27 and was buried a day later.

Moeti’s comments were prompted as she toured Monrovia’s health facilities and Ebola-hit communities on Wednesday, where she met Beatrice Yordoldo, the last Liberian patient to leave a treatment center alive.

Yordoldo, who was discharged on March 5, said the “majority of the survivors” she had spoken to were complaining of impaired sight and hearing, headaches and other complications.

The WHO acknowledged the issue as early as October, when it carried an interview on its website with a psychosocial support officer in Kenema, in eastern Sierra Leone.

“We are seeing a lot of people with vision problems. Some complain of clouded vision, but for others the visual loss is progressive. I have seen two people who are now blind,” Margaret Nanyonga said.

Nanyonga, who calls the problem “post-Ebola syndrome,” said visual problems had affected around half of Ebola survivors in Kenema, while others complained of joint, muscle and chest pain and extreme fatigue.

“We need to understand why these symptoms persist, whether they are caused by the disease or treatment, or perhaps the heavy disinfection,” Nanyonga said.

With research thin on the ground, health authorities have no real measure of the extent of the problem, but it doesn’t appear to be confined solely to Africa.

American nurse Nina Pham, who was infected while caring for a Liberian man at a Texas hospital, told the Dallas Morning News in March that she had experienced hair loss, aches and insomnia after being given the all-clear in October.

Aches and fatigue are common side-effects in patients recovering from serious infection, resulting from the immune system’s release of chemicals to fight the illness.

But experts admit they do not yet know if this is what is going on inside the bodies of Ebola survivors.

The speed of the spread of the virus took the world by surprise, and by the time a concerted international effort was in place to stem the epidemic, it had already overwhelmed the health services of the worst-hit countries.

The epidemic has dwarfed all previous outbreaks combined — fewer than 2,500 cases were recorded between Ebola’s discovery in 1976 and the current outbreak — and has killed around two-thirds of those infected, experts believe.

While survivors of previous outbreaks reported health complications, past epidemics were never big enough to warrant in-depth research into the after-effects.

A rare upside of the scale of the current outbreak has been that there are thousands of survivors who can be studied to give health authorities the knowledge to be better prepared for future outbreaks.

Moeti, a qualified medic who took up her five-year appointment in February, says the WHO is just beginning to play catch-up in its research into post-Ebola complications.

“I think this is something about which we need to learn more in detail for the future so that . . . as part of treating people with Ebola we are looking out for these kind of symptoms,” she said.

“Because I think in the first acute treatment of people with Ebola our focus (was) on keeping them alive and perhaps these other symptoms emerged later on.”

  • albundy57

    Globalism.

  • Richard Dunnagan

    It sounds like WHO wants to keep the money flowing. The outbreak is tapering off and they are going to be out one cash cow.

    • diggferkel

      The big money and power is in trying to solve the symptoms rather that the problem. The general public doesn’t want to hear what the problems are.

      • Zeb Quinn

        Treating the symptoms alone is the gift that keeps on giving to the treaters. We see that in all manner of governmental social programs.

    • Anon14

      The WHO will always ask for money to perform ineffectual treatment based on faux research. Remember the “mass circumcision campaigns” for HIV?

      • gary lacey

        LMAO, talk about adding insult to injury.

  • toughcrowd

    Well, considering the fact that this virus basically liquifies the victim’s insides, it would make sense that there would be some sort of after effects.

    • liars

      It’s got some of the symptoms of scurvy, doesn’t it?

      • Roberta

        It’s worse than scurvy.

      • Birther 2.0

        Thanks captain obvious.

      • Roberta

        Hey, apparently, some people need to be educated. Equating ebola to scurvy is ludicrous.

    • Mark A Girard

      There may be some sort of after effects that most victims suffer from but these “symptoms” line up with those of FLUOROQUINOLONE TOXICITY, a fate far more common than nearly anyone realizes. The vast majority of victims in Western countries are misdiagnosed with any of a hundred or more other conditions such as fibro or ALS or chronic fatigue or Parkinson’s or Chrohn’s or Hashimoto’s or an autoimmune disorder or Gulf War Syndrome, and on and on. Many others who have had adverse reactions to fluoroquinolone antibiotics are labeled as psychotic or as troublesome patients. The truth is that there are millions upon millions of us but unfortunately 99.99% or so have no idea why their lives turned to crap. If you doubt me just copy fluoroquinolone toxicity or cipro poison or levaquin damage into your googler thingy and take a look at just how many thousands of stories and websites and forums and support groups and newscasts and magazine articles and blogs there are. BIG PHARMA went in there and blasted these people with toxic drugs which may or may not have helped but which definitely left a lot of people horribly damaged.

  • docwatson

    This was a manufactured strain and therefore odd results should be expected.

    • Mike0oSS

      My sentiments exactly doc.

      • Birther 2.0

        ^^^^They allow internet in the mental health ward, apparently.

  • MudFlapShoes

    you know, those blacks in Monrovia, never wanted the slaves from the USA back and there is always talk in the USA about govt.conspiracies to kill their own people.

    now i don’t believe that to be the case in the USA, but i’m suspicious of these nice folks in Monrovia.

    what, haven’t you seen their history?

  • Dennis Opihory

    that’s because the virus is still inside the victim-weakened but alive. chicken pox is now shingles in older people-polio returns in older people as well. wait until these people get older with a weakened immune system. this is basic virus 101 info-are all these doctors and experts morons?

    • Steph Skinner

      You have no idea what you’re talking about. Sure, there are some strains of virus which stay with you for life, but the majority don’t. Do you really think every time you catch the flu it’s stuck with you for life? At least do some research before you go calling the real experts “morons”.

      • Dennis Opihory

        and how the hell do you know what the majority of virus’ do. it’s obvious these morons don’t either.

      • Steph Skinner

        I know what viruses do because I’m majoring in immunology and microbiology. I’d say the real moron here is the guy who thinks he knows better than people who have actually studied this.

      • FloxieHope

        You’re majoring in microbiology and you think that it’s appropriate to give a TOPOISOMERASE INTERRUPTER to people to treat a virus? Your school is failing you. Where are you going to school? I’ll write them a letter to tell the that they’re putting ignorant fools out into society with degrees that make them feel superior. There have been ZERO long-term studies on the safety of quinolones. They have NEVER been shown to be effective at treating viruses. They work by disrupting the DNA and RNA replication process for bacteria (and mitochondria). How, exactly, do you think they’d fight a virus? YOU haven’t actually studied this. I HAVE.

      • FloxieHope

        I’m in complete and utter disbelief that you, as an immunology and microbiology major, have doubled down on your position that it’s appropriate to treat a virus with antibiotics. Your average 5th grader should know that drugs that kill bacteria don’t damage viruses – because they’re different. Anti-viral drugs MAY have been appropriate to give to Ebola victims. Cipro is NOT an anti-viral drug. It is a dangerous drug with a 43 page warning label. But you think that it’s appropriate to use it to treat things that it has never been shown to be effective at treating. Why? Because you think that drugs don’t actually have adverse effects? Because you don’t think that cellular damage can lead to multi-symptom, chronic diseases? Keep doubling down.

      • Dennis Opihory

        oh wow. you are majoring in immunology. big frickin deal.a smart ass kid,a student. -like a 2nd year law student lecturing people on the law. you really are the expert because you took immunology 101. yeah big ass expert living in his dorm or still at home – a real master of the universe. you probably still can’t drink legally. you are an example of the old adage- a little education is a dangerous thing. you don’tknow jackshit about the so called experts in any field. grow up get into the real world and you will see how little most people know about anything in the universe, especially the so called experts. and you are stupid clueless young smart ass who knows even less-

  • RC

    This is no mystery. We know Ebola basically ‘melts’ the organs. If you happen to survive you are stuck with whatever damage happened to your organs.

    • http://www.cavalierx.com CavalierX

      But if they act as though it’s a mystery “syndrome” they can get money to study it…

  • http://www.fuckoff.com/ Ta mère suce bites en enfer

    Range of problems, starting with being black.

  • Tesla_X

    Between the consequent after effects of surviving such a devastating disease, and the probable cocktail of EXPERIMENTAL DRUGS tested on the survivors, and their side effects, this will be studied for years.

    • Mark A Girard

      Exactly!

  • youz didn’t build dat

    Ebola is natures way of ridding the world of savages that eat monkey and bat zhhht. Just as AIDS is natures way of getting rid of perverts and gorilla fkkers and drug addict low life filth.

  • THANKYOULIBERALS

    LOL… LOL… LOL… AT ALL THESE DO GOODERS WHO RISK EVERYBODIES ELSE LIFE, WHEN THEY RETURN HOME… NOW THEY WILL PAY A PRICE FOR SAVING THESE 3RD WORLD PARASITES….

    • Mark A Girard

      You are a repulsive hateful bigoted person. Please, never visit Canada.

  • Nancy Kay Vocals

    Could it be from levaquin which is used to treat Ebola? It’s killed and crippled a lot of people. It’s very disabling.

    • Steph Skinner

      You know what else is very disabling? Dying from infection as a result of not taking antibiotics. There’s no perfect solution when serious disease is concerned, but I know I’d rather take the drug which usually doesn’t result in serious side effects (look it up, nausea is the most common side effect and that still only happens in 7% of people) as opposed to dying from an illness which has a fatality rate above 50%.

      • FloxieHope

        Ebola is a VIRUS. In case you didn’t get the memo, it’s not appropriate, or effective, to use antibiotics against viruses – they only work against bacterial infections.

  • Maud_StJames

    Nothing good comes out of Africa.

  • Corinna Bloess

    The so called mysterious post-ebola-syndrome is of course caused by the fluoroquinolone antibiotics, that are given from Bayer company through WHO and ‘HELP’ organisations for alleged post-ebola-infections. Fluoroquinolone antibiotics cripple people, allover the world. It causes retina detachment, neuropathies, tendone ruptures, cancer, autoimmune sickness, pain, organ failure, deafness, brain damage, suicidal thoughts, depressions..etc etc …due to mitochondrial DNA damage caused by chemical reaction at the moment the antibiotics get into the body system. It was also covered up as ‘gulf war syndrome’.

  • MY LIFE ruined by Levaquin

    As my name says….if the victims were given Fluoroquinolone Antibiotics…as Levaquin, Cipro, or Avelox…….they all now have Fluoroquinolone Toxicity….and that is horrific body wide damage..

    • marque2

      They are drugs of last resort for those with the most severe of infections. Cipro is the only known drug to help with Anthrax, but it can melt your tendons.

      I wouldn’t give this to everybody, but if it is all you have that might help to save a life.

      • Mark A Girard

        Yes, these are great drugs; they saved my life, then they ruined it because, as is usually the case, I was given too much for too long in conjunction with other drugs which should not be given at the same time. Ebola is a virus so the only patients that should have been given an FQ would have also been fighting bacterial infection simultaneously. Giving everyone cipro or levaquin helped no one and harmed many. This is a crime against humanity disguised as charity work. Very sad indeed.

    • http://Imperium4256.com Taskforce4256

      The question is, are the effects worse than death? If you have Ebola, your choices are very limited.

      • Mark A Girard

        Yes, because you are fighting a virus. Fluoroquinolone antibiotics like the ones forced into the systems of many people there do a great job of killing bacteria. They did not help much at all but they did a whole lot of harm.

      • marque2

        Anthrax is also a virus. Why do they give Cipro for Anthrax. Also Wiki page says, while the side effects can be bad, they are rare. Sorry that you had to be one of the rare, but I wouldn’t go throwing out a whole group of drugs of last resort. Life may not be as great as it used to be, but at least you are alive.

      • FloxieHope

        Anthrax is a bacteria.

      • marque2

        My bad, it would make more sense that anthrax is a bacteria. But I still wouldn’t ban drugs of last hope from Ebola patients because of the word of some loon on the internet.

    • Steph Skinner

      You’re overstating the dangers of fluoroquinolone antibiotics. Most people don’t experience the negative side effects you’re describing. Let’s keep in mind that this is used in response to ebola, which is many times worse than antibiotic side effects.

      • Mark A Girard

        Ebola is a virus so the only patients that should have been given an FQ would have also been fighting bacterial infection simultaneously. Giving everyone cipro or levaquin helped no one and harmed many. This is a crime against humanity disguised as charity work.

      • Steph Skinner

        Jesus, I’m not even going to bother writing out a response to you based on your comment history. The world would have been better off if the FQ had killed you instead, hippies like you are a blight on society.

      • FloxieHope

        Wow… you are a horrible person, aren’t you? You insist on defending your stance that it is appropriate to use antibiotics to treat viral infections (it’s not – this has been shown) by saying that he’s a hippy who deserves to die. You’re awful.

      • MY LIFE ruined by Levaquin

        Steph Skinner……you need to open your eyes to Fluoroquinolone Toxicity….if not you will likely become a victim….proper..use of these meds are for life threatening infections only…not viruses…but bacterial life threatening infections……not sniffles, UTI’s, UP, but for life threatening infections only….most FQT victims had their lives ruined because these meds were handed out incorrectly…..and until you walk in the shoes of a FQT victim….please keep your uneducated comments to yourself……

      • Mark A Girard

        If anything, she is understating the danger of fluoroquinolones, or FQs. In addition to causing serious harm to a much much higher percentage than the 1% or so that the manufacturers admit to, it will also introduce waves of new antibiotic resistant bugs into an area that previously was pretty much void of them. BIG PHARMA knows exactly what they are doing; creating lots and lots of new customers for generations to come…

      • FloxieHope

        Cipro has never been shown to be effective in fighting any virus, much less EBOLA. You don’t just give people dangerous drugs for grins. It’s wrong. And you’re wrong about people “overstating the dangerous of fluoroquinolone antibiotics.” Look into it and you may actually learn something.

      • marque2

        People overstate just about everything anymore, down to plastic bottles. Um, it is hard to know what is serious and what is not. It is really easy to say some drug with a fancy name causes, blah blah blah, and have the mistruth spread in a day over the entire Internet, and then the drug is banned to what purpose? Now people will die. Be careful spreading rumors about things.

  • TruthSerum

    Recently a woman came down with Ebola after having unprotected sex with a man who had supposedly been “Ebola free” for over 6 months. Previously it was thought that 3 months, post Ebola, was safe for men to have sex – clearly this needs revision. I doubt there will be many female volunteers willing to test the new “all clear” date.

    • Animedude5555

      She had sex with him only a month or 2 after he was cured (big mistake, because the virus was still somewhat contagious at that point). And then she got symptoms 4 months after she was exposed (a total of 6 months after he was cured). Because he was cured, the virus that came from him was extremely weak, so instead of her symptoms developing within a week of having sex with him, it took her 4 months to develop symptoms.

      The news reporters from every news company have repeatedly gotten this news story wrong, by claiming that she got the infection by having sex with him after he was cured for 6 months. The fact is, if she had waited until he was ebola free for 6 months, before having sex with him, she would not have contracted ebola, because by then the last of the ebola viruses in him would be dead.

      • TruthSerum

        Thanks for clearing this up. You are right the media is reporting (everywhere I read) the couple had unprotected sex 6 months after he was declared Ebola free.

  • liars

    It’s too bad the doctors don’t believe in using timed, massive, intravenous administration of vitamin C as Robert Cathcard MD would have. The pharmaceutical companies would rather myriad people die.

  • FloxieHope

    I bet a significant amount of money that those who are suffering from this syndrome are the people who were treated by Western medicine – particularly those who were given Cipro/ciprofloxacin – a fluoroquinolone antibiotic that works by disrupting the DNA and RNA replication cycle for bacteria and eukaryotic mitochondria. I also bet that the syndrome will look a lot like Gulf War Syndrome (the troops in the Gulf in 1991 were given Cipro like it was candy). Cipro, and all fluoroquinolones, are incredibly dangerous drugs that cause multi-symptom, chronic illness. They’re mechanism of action is, “The bactericidal action of ciprofloxacin results from inhibition of the enzymes topoisomerase II (DNA
    gyrase) and topoisomerase IV (both Type II topoisomerases), which are required for bacterial DNA
    replication, transcription, repair, and recombination” (per the FDA warning label). NOT a good idea to give to humans, in case that needs to be said. Bayer “donated” millions of dollars worth of Cipro to West African countries in order to help them “treat” ebola – never mind that cipro is an antibiotic and ebola is a virus.

    Do the work, epidemiologists – figure out what has made these people sick. I bet it’s not the virus – it’s the treatment. And when looking at the treatment, look to the cipro – nasty drug.

    • Mark A Girard

      Great post!

  • Patrick

    The creator is just punishing those people for the hardship they bring to hard-working people in modern nations. They really are just parasites of multiple societies.

  • http://sarcasticgranny.blogspot.com/ Ms. A

    Nina Pham (and I’m sure the others, too) definitely has symptoms of fluoroquinolone toxicity, but I don’t see anyone admitting that’s what it is. They’ll just keep stating it’s from the Ebola virus, even though the side effects are listed for the medication, along with black box warnings.

  • http://Imperium4256.com Taskforce4256

    What is the evidence for “fluoroquinolone poisoning”? Where do we find this in professional journals?

    • Mark A Girard

      I am in the process of adding all sorts of different studies and other respected material; there certainly is no shortage. We will see if DISQUS and the publication will allow me to share them….

    • FloxieHope

      There are more than 200 journal articles about the deleterious effects of fluoroquinolones on the web site with my user name – under the Links & Resources page. I would post the link but things with links aren’t going up. Both the New York Times and Bayer’s press release noted that cipro was being given to the victims of Ebola.

  • Sherry Reiver

    Let’s talk about the Ebola crisis. Let’s talk about the recent reports about people who have health issues related to surviving Ebola. Let’s talk about Bayer so generously giving out their antibiotic Cipro to the poor people of the countries hard hit. Let’s talk about the fact that Ebola is a virus but that Ebola can turn into a “possible” secondary bacterial infection so therefore doctors believe an antibiotic would help. Let’s talk about the fact that Cipro has so many horrible side effects that they can be worse than death especially to these people who live nowhere near the doctors who originally gave the Cipro to them. These doctors are long gone from the area and the people who received them are complaining about all types of health issues and have no idea that the wonderful, generous makers of Cipro, Bayer, have now literally screwed up their lives forever.

    Let’s talk about the doctors and nurses who contacted Ebola or were thought to have contacted Ebola and were sent to countries around the world for healthcare, many sent here in the U.S, who were given Cipro as well. That nurse from Dallas who is suing isn’t feeling well. She too most probably was given Cipro.

    Let’s talk about the people all over the world who have taken Cipro or one of the other Fluoroquinolone group of antibiotics such as Levaquin, Avelox , Floxin etc including and NOT excluding the topicals such as ear and eye drops. We are in the millions who are very sick. Many have not connected the dots. Many go from doctor to doctor trying to find answers. Most of us are “lucky” that we have doctors to go to, albeit they do not believe this phenomenon that has happened to us. The Ebola people do not have this “luxury” of going from dr to dr, test after test.

    Let’s talk about the U.S. government who so readily hands out Cipro to our military. Perhaps many of our soldier’s health issues, including mental ones are due to Cipro. It is in Cipro’s insert of “rare” side effects that is can cause psychiatric problems amongst all the others. Perhaps the Gulf War Syndrome is due partly because of Cipro. The Postal Workers certainly got very sick after given Cipro during the Anthrax scare.

    Thankfully the recent News Reports coming out all over the country regarding these side effects will awaken people who dismiss our warnings about these antibiotics. We are ALL aware that every drug has its own set of ADRs but this Fluoroquinolone group is particularly troublesome and more dangerous than any other.

    It’s time to have that talk.

  • Mark A Girard

    These people are clearly suffering from FLUOROQUINOLONE TOXICITY! This problem is far far more common than most people are aware of as it is under-reported by a factor of thousands in most Western and Asian countries. If you doubt me just copy and paste cipro poison or levaquin damage or fluoroquinolone toxicity or any combination of these into your googler thingy and you will find more personal stories and newscasts and peer reviewed studies and blog-posts and magazine articles and support groups and newspaper articles and government reports and lawyers advertisements and youtube videos and so on than you could possibly review in your lifetime. This problem is HUGE but 99.99% or so of the people damaged have no clue what happened to them. Who suspects an antibiotic they took weeks, months, even years earlier when a tendon ruptures or neuropathy sets in or digestive problems become severe or hearing problems arise or a retinal detachment happens or existing medical problems become more severe or autonomic nervous system failures show up or autoimmune disorders take hold or headaches become overwhelming or muscle weakness keeps you bedridden or confusion gets bad or joint pain becomes unbearable or chronic fatigue takes hold or hair falls out or fingernails fall off or heart arrhythmia takes place or seizures, fits, convulsions or fasciculations set it or any of a hundred or more other “symptoms” of FLUOROQUINOLONE TOXICITY make their life Hell. Fortunately word is getting out. There have been dozens and dozens of newscasts all over the US recently, plus newspaper articles and so on. Word is slowly getting out. I hope this paper will look into the FLUOROQUINOLONE SCANDAL and report on it. This will be one of the biggest stories of our time!

  • Maud_StJames

    Besides diamonds and gold, who can name something good that comes out of Africa?