It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
Twice this year, Liberia, the worst hit of all Ebola-affected nations with at least 4,800 deaths blamed on the disease, has been declared Ebola-free, only to see new cases appear. Liberian officials and medical researchers now wonder how soon their country and its neighbors will be completely rid of the scourge.
Recent scientific studies and case reports indicate the Ebola virus can persist in survivors’ bodily fluids—semen, breast milk, spinal fluid, inner-eye fluid—months longer than previously thought.
A study under way in Sierra Leone will search for evidence of the virus in still other bodily fluids, including vaginal secretions, saliva, tears, sweat and urine, said Barbara Marston, who leads the international task force for Ebola response for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Dr. Marston and other researchers say there is no risk of contracting the virus through casual contact with survivors. But the flare-up of Ebola cases in Liberia underscores some of the questions still surrounding the virus—for instance, whether people can be infected with Ebola without developing symptoms.
On a recent morning, Dr. Fallah was in the government’s Ebola command center, surrounded by bone-weary health workers trying to monitor the condition and whereabouts of 139 potentially infected people.
Some patients had slipped out of quarantine because nobody remembered to bring them breakfast. “Contacts not getting food!” screamed an angry worker.
A whiteboard listed 20 people still unaccounted for, several of whom seemed to have turned off their phones.
Holding up a map of Monrovia, a city of one million people stretching across 100 square miles, Dr. Fallah pleaded to his staff, “I need you to find those people!”