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Possible explanation emerges for cause of Ebola flare-up in Liberia

By Elizabeth Glaser Moderator Emeritus | 17 Dec, 2015

According to the Reuters story , shared at the link, researchers are considering the possibility that the mother in the stricken family, herself a survivor of Ebola, may have inadvertently transmitted the disease. The mother had been infected and recovered well over a year ago, however it is thought that she may have had an increase in viral replication at the end of pregnancy or in the immediate post partum period. This is inline with the fact that women are slightly immunosuppressed during pregnancy so that the mother's immune system can tolerate the "other", the fetus. countering this theory is that the child she delivered was not ill, ( as far as I know) as we might expect problems in the newborn following viral exposure in the womb or during delivery.

It is not confirmed that the mother transmitted the virus to the family , however it is one of several scenarios being considered. If it is the case, that survivors can inadvertently transmit enough virus to cause infection even a year after recovery , it may further stigmatize survivors.

What implications would this have for antenatal outcomes, and to those providing maternal care in the community ?

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