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New research on Ebola survivors

Amidst  the death of Liberia’s latest Ebola victim, who was widely believed to  have been infected by an Ebola survivor boyfriend, the Partnership for Research on Ebola Vaccines in Liberia or PREVAIL, says it plans to launch a natural history study of Ebola survivors to better understand the after-effects of the Ebola Virus Disease in human.

Four sites in Monrovia and locations in the United States may begin enrollment into this study in the coming months.

The study is pending regulatory review and approval, according to statement issued by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases or NIAID, part of the U.S. National Institutes of Health or NIH.

NIAID conducts and supports research at NIH, throughout the United States, and worldwide, to study the causes of infectious and immune-mediated diseases, and to develop better means of preventing, diagnosing and treating these illnesses.

The statement continued that PREVAIL is currently conducting trials of two experimental Ebola vaccines in Liberia with more than 600 people in Liberia participating in the first stage and about 1,500 volunteers expected to enroll in Phase Two.

The trial, which began on February 2, 2015 in Monrovia, is testing the safety and efficacy of the cAd3-EBOZ candidate vaccine co-developed by NIAID scientists and GlaxoSmithKline, and the VSV-ZEBOV candidate vaccine developed by the Public Health Agency of Canada and licensed to New Link Genetics Corporation and Merck.

The female Liberian victim, 44-year-old Ruth Tugbeh, reportedly died last week in a Chinese constructed ETU at the Samuel Kanyon Doe Sports Stadium outside Monrovia,

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Health authorities in Monrovia are still investigating the source of the latest case of the Ebola Virus Disease that involves a 44 years old female resident of Caldwell Township in the suburb of Monrovia.

Authorities here have confirmed that the 44-year-old victim, Ruth Tugbeh, is receiving medication in one of the best ETUs in Monrovia.

She was tested positive at the Redemption Hospital in the Borough of  New Kru Town last month after showing signs and symptoms of the virus with news that she contracted the virus from her boyfriend, who is said to be an Ebola survivor.

The unidentified boyfriend had reportedly completed the 90 days or three months period prescribed by doctors in the Ebola Treatment Units for survivors to abstain from sex. The Ebola virus lives in the semen of male survivors for up to 90 days during which it is dangerous to have sexual intercourse with a partner, health experts have advised.      

The couple reportedly had regular sex, using condoms but this time around, they decided to take the experiment a step further, having successfully completed the 90 days abstinence period.

By Ben P. Wesee

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