Non-invasive contact with Ebola survivors 6 weeks after the virus has been cleared poses little risk for healthcare workers, though contact with semen, ocular humor, and cerebrospinal fluid requires Ebola-appropriate precautions, according to a study yesterday in The Lancet Infectious Diseases.
A cross-sectional cohort study evaluated 555 specimens from 112 Ebola survivors without fever seeking follow-up care at a clinic in Freetown, Sierra Leone, from Apr 2 to Jun 16, 2015. Almost one third of survivors (34, or 30%) were under the age of 16, and 50 (40%) were male.
Samples were obtained from the armpit (103 specimens), blood (93), conjunctiva (92), forehead (54), mouth (105), rectum (17), semen (1), urine (69), and vagina (21). The median time from Ebola treatment unit discharge to specimen collection was 142 days.