Clinical care for survivors of Ebola virus disease
The outbreak of Ebola virus disease (EVD) that began in 2013 in West Africa had by December 2015, resulted in over 28,000 cases. Although estimates of the number of people affected during the outbreak vary, over 10,000 EVD survivors may require convalescent care. A number of both short- and long-term medical problems have been reported in EVD survivors, including mental health issues for both survivors and other family and community members (1-19). In addition, increasing recognition that Ebola virus may persist in selected body compartments of EVD survivors, most notably in the semen of males, brings awareness of the possibility of reintroduction of the virus in areas where transmission has previously been eliminated.
EVD survivors need comprehensive support for the medical and psychosocial challenges they face and also to minimize the risk of continued Ebola virus transmission, especially from sexual transmission. This document provides guidance on providing the necessary care and services for clinical care and virus testing, and should be used to guide the planning and delivery of ongoing health services to people who have recovered from EVD.
The primary audience for this guidance includes health care professionals providing primary care to people who have recovered from EVD. This guidance may also be used by family or community members providing support and care to EVD survivors, as well as planners of health care services and policy makers.