Ebola Patients may show no symptoms at all: study

The findings by a team of scientists at Stanford University offer new evidence to support previous theories that the hemorrhagic fever, Ebola, may not always cause severe illness including bleeding, vomiting, diarrhea and fever.

  • Published: , Refreshed:
Some 28,000 people were infected with Ebola in the outbreak which began in late 2013 and continued through last year, killing more than 11,000 people mainly in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia play

Some 28,000 people were infected with Ebola in the outbreak which began in late 2013 and continued through last year, killing more than 11,000 people mainly in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia

(AFP/File)
24/7 Live - Subscribe to the Pulse Newsletter!

More than a dozen people in Sierra Leone were infected with Ebola but showed no symptoms, suggesting that the massive and deadly West Africa epidemic was larger than previously thought, researchers said Tuesday.

The findings by a team of scientists at Stanford University offer new evidence to support previous theories that the hemorrhagic fever, Ebola, may not always cause severe illness including bleeding, vomiting, diarrhea and fever.

Some 28,000 people were infected with Ebola in the outbreak which began in late 2013 and continued through last year, killing more than 11,000 people mainly in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia.

Ebola, like most other viruses, can infect people but show few symptoms, said Stanford researcher Gene Richardson, whose specialties include infectious disease and anthropology.

"It provides important evidence on that front. It also means a significant portion of transmission events may have gone undetected during the outbreak," he said.

"This shows there was a lot more human-to-human transmission than we thought."

Ebola is spread through close contact with the bodily fluids of an infected person, including blood, vomit and diarrhea.

Since many patients become violently ill, family members and medical professionals who care for them face a high risk of infection.

Researchers recruited 187 men, women and children from Sukudu, a rural village of about 900 people in Sierra Leone for the study.

Participants had likely been exposed to Ebola through a family member or by using a public toilet shared by a person who had the disease.

"Of these, 14 were found to be carrying antibodies to Ebola, suggesting they had been infected at some point, though they had not been included in the original count," said the study in PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases.

Twelve said they had no symptoms, while two recalled having had a fever at the time of the outbreak.

The village was one of three major hot spots in eastern Sierra Leone during the Ebola crisis in 2014 and 2015.

Thirty four people in the village were infected with Ebola and 28 died.

Given the 14 previously unreported cases, researchers calculated that about one quarter of people in the village who became ill with Ebola had no symptoms or very minor ones.

Ebola is known to linger in semen for months after the initial infection, though it remains unclear whether people who never had any symptoms could spread Ebola to a partner.

The senior author on the study was Paul Farmer, a Harvard University professor and director of Partners In Health.

Recommended Articles

Recommended Videos





Top Articles

1 Prophecy Obinim makes some death revelationsbullet
2 Bin Atef Ex-Gitmo detainee marries in Ghanabullet
3 Bole Highway 11 killed, 7 injured in bus accidentbullet
4 Visa row: Ablakwa condemns US embassy over new visa policybullet
5 Adult Content We will continue showing porn on TV - Ice TVbullet
6 Issues Former NDC MP reveals US gave Ghana $300k for Gitmo 2bullet
7 Visa Blues US visa policy not new: says embassy in Accrabullet
8 Eid al-Fitr Akufo-Addo promises to protect all faiths in...bullet
9 Travel Read US embassy policy on visa acquisitionbullet
10 Northern Region Police launch hunt for riotous NPP...bullet

Top Videos

1 Lynched Soldier Listen to the man who hit Capt. Mahama's head with a blockbullet
2 Capt. Mahama's Death The account of this 10-year-old will leave you in...bullet
3 Prophecy Hundreds will die in floods in 2017 – Prophet revealsbullet
4 Video Police officer attacked at Flagstaff Housebullet
5 Lynched Soldier Residents of Denkyira-Obuasi mourn Maj. Mahamabullet
6 In Zimbabwe President Mugabe’s 70 year-old aide marries his...bullet
7 Video Edward Gyampana is the teenage design genius who needs...bullet
8 Meet "The Beast" President Obama's Cadillac that's more...bullet
9 Video Metro Mass bus catches fire on Cape Coast-Kasoa...bullet
10 Nigerians stop deportation of chained compatriot in...bullet

News