CDC details ophthamologic complications in Ebola case
This case study involves a U.S.-based physician that had contracted Ebola virus disease (EVD) in Liberia while providing health care in the country in Aug. 2014. The patient reported vision loss, redness and light sensitivity 40 days after the initial contraction of EVD and visited the University of Massachusetts Memorial Eye Center on Oct. 7, 2014.
Prior to this, the patient did not have history of ocular problems. Personnel at the Memorial Eye Center were concerned of potential transmission of the Ebola virus as viral shedding was reported on the ocular surface. Samples sent in for testing at the CDC facility in Atlanta turned out to be negative. Later testing found that uveitis resulted from ocular complications.
Uveitis is a type of inflammation of the eye that can lead to permanent vision loss. Researchers state that, at this time, it is unclear whether EVD-related uveitis is a result of an immune response or the virus in the convalescent stage.
Other studies have indicated that viable viral materials are able to survive in fluids that do not interact with the immune system, including seminal fluid and the aqueous humor of the eye.