Well this certainly makes me look at the whole Ebola thing a little differently.
I considered myself rather educated on the subject (in a layman’s context, of course) but I never knew or heard that the virus could lay dormant for quite so long.
I don’t think Pauline Cafferkey realized this either.
A Scottish nurse who contracted Ebola in Sierra Leone last year is in a “serious condition” after being readmitted to an isolation unit in London.
NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde confirmed that the virus is still present in Pauline Cafferkey’s body after being left over from the original infection.
She is not thought to be contagious.
The 39-year-old has been flown back to the isolation unit at the Royal Free Hospital in London.
Bodily tissues can harbour the Ebola infection months after the person appears to have fully recovered.
Ms Cafferkey, from Cambuslang in South Lanarkshire, spent almost a month in the unit at the beginning of the year after contracting the virus in December 2014.
NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (NHSGGC) said she had been admitted to the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow on Tuesday after feeling unwell and was treated in its infectious diseases unit.
She was then transferred to the Royal Free Hospital in the early hours of Friday morning due to an “unusual late complication” in her illness.
Dr Emilia Crighton, NHSGGC director of public health, said: “Pauline’s condition is a complication of a previous infection with the Ebola virus.
“The risk to the public is very low. In line with normal procedures in cases such as this, we have identified a small number of close contacts of Pauline’s that we will be following up as a precaution.”
Government sources have described her transfer to the specialist unit as a “highly precautionary process”.
Dr Ben Neuman, a virologist from the University of Reading, told BBC Radio’s Good Morning Scotland programme that the outlook for Ms Cafferkey was good and it was unlikely the virus remained infectious.
He said: “Once the virus is removed from the blood once, it tends to retreat into the hard-to-access components of the body. It’ll hide in places like the back of your eye or breast milk.”
He said the effects of the virus on the body could last for up to two years, although it was difficult to know how long it could actually persist.”
Ebola is a potentially chronic disease. One nightmarish ordeal opens the door to vast offering of more…!