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      Confronting Ebola as a Sexually Transmitted Infection

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          Abstract

          Ebola can persist in compartments of the body well after the symptoms of acute infection abate and virus is cleared from the circulation. A comprehensive response to the threat of persistence and sexual transmission is required combining both clinical care and surveillance.

          Abstract

          The unprecedented Ebola outbreak that devastated West Africa evolved within months from a regional outbreak to a global public health emergency. While the rate of confirmed cases declined dramatically, sporadic clusters of Ebola virus disease (EVD) continue well beyond the double incubation period of 42 days used to declare a nation Ebola-free. At the same time, evidence that the virus persists in genital fluids and can be sexually transmitted, along with the potential for lingering virus in other body compartments to permit recrudescence of EVD, has shaken our thinking of what it takes to achieve lasting control of an Ebola epidemic. A comprehensive response to the threat of persistence and sexual transmission of Ebola is required and should build on accessible longitudinal medical care of survivors and accurate genital fluid testing for Ebola. Control of this and future Ebola outbreaks will depend on our ability to recognize and respond to this persistence of the virus in those who survive.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          Clin Infect Dis
          Clin. Infect. Dis
          cid
          cid
          Clinical Infectious Diseases: An Official Publication of the Infectious Diseases Society of America
          Oxford University Press
          1058-4838
          1537-6591
          15 May 2016
          01 March 2016
          15 May 2017
          : 62
          : 10
          : 1272-1276
          Affiliations
          [1 ] Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine
          [2 ] Division of Infectious Diseases, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
          Author notes
          [a]

          W. A. F. and D. A. W. contributed equally to this work.

          Correspondence: W. A. Fischer II, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, The University of North Carolina School of Medicine, 104 Mason Farm Rd, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7310 ( william_fischer@ 123456med.unc.edu ).
          Article
          PMC4845792 PMC4845792 4845792 ciw123
          10.1093/cid/ciw123
          4845792
          26936667
          20789350-78aa-4c4f-b4ea-5d0771c5cb0b
          © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press for the Infectious Diseases Society of America. All rights reserved. For permissions, e-mail journals.permissions@oup.com.
          History
          : 14 January 2016
          : 17 February 2016
          Funding
          Funded by: National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
          Award ID: R03AG045088
          Award ID: K23AI121516
          Funded by: Infectious Disease Society of America Young Investigator Award in Geriatrics
          Funded by: National Institutes of Health http://dx.doi.org/10.13039/100000002
          Award ID: K24 DA037101
          Categories
          Viewpoints

          emerging infectious diseases,viral compartmentalization,viral shedding in semen and vaginal fluid,sexually transmitted infection,Ebola virus disease

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