Credit CDC PHIL
Making news last week was the story Liberia Recommends Ebola Survivors Practice Safe Sex Indefinitely, which came after an Ebola patient died the previous week with just one known risk factor: her boyfriend had been successfully treated for Ebola last September.
You may recall that last August, Dr. Ian Mackay writing on his VDU Blog, posted Ebola virus in semen is the real deal...., which he followed up 10 days later with Ebola: Blood, sweat and tears, where Ian described the (somewhat limited) research to date on the level of EBOV detection in other body fluids – like tears, sweat and saliva.
A couple of months later Ian and Dr. Katherine Arden followed up with a piece for The Lancet (see Mackay & Arden On Ebola In Semen Of Convalescent Men), where they wrote:
A clear need exists to ensure that men convalescing after Ebola virus disease are made very plainly aware that they will need to conduct themselves with care to minimise the infectious potential of their seminal fluid. This careful conduct should include the patient maintaining careful personal hygiene after masturbation, practicing safe sex, or abstaining from sexual contact altogether for a suitable period of time.
Yesterday Ian weighed in on another not-so-obvious route of potential convalescent Ebola transmission; urine. I’ve only excerpted one paragraph, follow the link to read:
Another possible, albeit also unproven, transmission route is urine. This fluid seems to me to be a far more likely source of trouble. One cannot abstain from urination. So why worry about urine as a risk for transmission of Ebola virus? An EVD case study last year showed very nicely that infectious Ebola virus could be cultured from urine for about 12 days longer than it could be from blood. Viral RNA has also been found in urine for four weeks.[1,2]