WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Health researchers from Liberia and the United States will work together on a multi-year study of Ebola survivors to better understand the long-term consequences of the disease, the US National Institutes of Health announced in a release on Wednesday.
“The Liberia-US clinical research partnership known as PREVAIL has launched a study of people in Liberia who have survived Ebola virus disease (EVD) within the past two years,” the release said.
The researchers aim to determine whether survivors develop immunity to Ebola and transmit infection to close contacts and sexual partners.
“The research team will follow the Ebola survivors and their close contacts for up to five years with study visits occurring every six months,” NIH said.
Survivors will also be asked to identify up to five close contacts at the time of the Ebola diagnosis. Those contacts who agree to participate will undergo a physical examination and be asked detail questions about their contact with the survivor.
The study will take place at various sites in Liberia and is expected to enrol approximately 7,500 people, NIH said.
A major Ebola outbreak began in Guinea in December 2013, spreading later to Liberia, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Senegal and Mali.
At least 27,145 people have so far been infected with the deadly disease, according to World Health Organization figures. More than 11,100 of these cases have been fatal.