Months after life-saving treatment, many survivors of Ebola virus disease (EVD) experience ocular, auditory, and articular sequelae, according to a cross-sectional study carried out by an international team of researchers (Mattia JG et al. Lancet Infect Dis. doi:10.1016/S1473-3099(15)00489-2 [published online December 22, 2015]).
The investigators reviewed the records of 277 patients who were examined in the EVD Survivor Clinic in Port Loko, Sierra Leone, in March and April 2015. In this rural district, 1485 cases of EVD were reported, of which 661 people survived, according to the Sierra Leone Association for Ebola Survivors registry. Based on clinical and laboratory data, EVD complications were common, including arthralgias (n = 210, 76%), new ocular symptoms (n = 167, 60%), uveitis (n = 50, 18%), and auditory symptoms, such as tinnitus and subjective hearing loss (n = 67, 24%). Vision problems were sometimes so serious that vision loss occurred.