Now that the ebola virus scare is down to a whimper, what happened to all those patients who have survived the infection? They didn’t have access to the cure like the American doctors that were treated in the United States. Their immune system was able to fight off the ebola virus with some medical help but not get fully cured. One would think that surviving this infection would be considered a stroke of luck or even the praise of some higher being watching over them. The reality is that life does not return to normal after an ebola infection. The fight to maintain a normal life begins.
Ebola vs Immune System
The ebola virus is not a well-studied virus due to its limited infection rates. Let’s face it, no one really cares because it is in Africa and its continent away from western civilization. Wat made this epidemic different was that the pandemic hit a major center with access to international travel. Now the western world cared because the ebola virus was ending up in their back yard. For those surviving, the fight has just begun. It turns out that the human body and immune system become compromised after fighting off an ebola infection.
Patients that survived are suffering from joint pain, fatigue, blurred vision or blindness, hearing loss or ringing in the ears, headaches and migraines and abdominal pain. Those are the physical symptoms that a patient suffers from. One of the worst symptoms is the stigma attached to ebola infection. That is where isolation comes into play along with depression. Think of it as having a scarlet letter. Your friends and co-workers avoid you because you were treated for ebola. Stores shun you and employers keep you away for fear that if it comes back, they too will be infected. Rumors run wild about re-infection.
One of the worst side effects in my opinion is vision loss. The main reason for this side effect being so highly ranked is the fact that vision loss in Africa is not a good thing. Life is harder in Africa due to the medical infrastructure and handicap infrastructure being non-existent. One has to work each day to survive and provide food for their family. The loss of vision and an inability to provide followed by little government help and one would be helpless. Back in isolation.
The cause of the vision loss seems to be uveitis. Uveitis is an inflammation of the eye that can cause blurred or hazy vision. If it is left untreated, it will result in blindness. This inflammation is not untreatable but it requires early detection and a strong dose of steroids. The longer it takes to provide treatment the most likely the damage becomes irreversible. Now add a limited healthcare infrastructure, and the ability to heal from uveitis greatly diminishes.
Are you worried about another ebola epidemic?