Sunday, April 23, 2017 | Updated at 1:28 AM ET

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Ebola Virus Discover In Health Care Worker Lungs

First Posted: Jan 06, 2017 11:16 AM EST
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Ebola virus has proven itself a tricky foe to get rid of in the human body. There are several cases in which the patient has fully recovered only to find out that the virus has been found in the eyes, semen, amniotic fluid, breast milk, and placenta as well as in the central nervous system.

According to the Washington Post, the virus may linger and continue to replicate and spread in the lungs of patients who are recovering from the infection. And this could happen even after viral RNA is not already detectable in their bloodstreams.

The findings of the virus replication could aid into new treatment approaches and a better understanding of how the virus is being transmitted.

Based on the paper published in the journal PLOS Pathogens, the possible hiding place for the Ebola virus is the lungs. There was a case study which was about a health care work that was infected in Sierra Leone. The said worker was moved to a hospital in Rome for massive treatment.

In the examination process, the doctors were shocked to find out that after the virus had been cleared from the patient's blood plasma, it could be still found in the lower respiratory tract. Researchers have discovered RNA and viral replication markers in the lungs for five days after the virus has been cleared from the blood and the patient has developed from significant lung injury.

According to Giuseppe Ippolito of Italy's National Institute for Infectious Disease, the Ebola virus can cause lung damage because it is rapidly replicating inside the body.

"This suggests a major role of the respiratory tissues in the pathogenesis of Ebola virus disease," Ippolito and his team said.

If these findings are confirmed, scientists and doctors can suggest new ways of monitoring survivors who still need possible new treatments.

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