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Our publications keep professionals working across the public, private, and academic sectors informed on the most important developments and issues in health security and biosecurity.

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Sanctuary Sites: What Lies Behind Ebola Eye Infections, Sexual Transmission, and Relapses

Amesh Adalja
Date posted:
December 21, 2015
Publication type:

Health Secur 2015;13(6):396-398

Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.
Available on publisher website
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Recent developments in the ongoing West African Ebola outbreak have, according to the media, prompted doctors to “tear up” everything they know. The events in question are the “relapse” of Scottish nurse Pauline Cafferkey, Dr. Ian Crozier's battle with an Ebola-caused eye infection, and the possibility of sexual transmission of the virus long after recovery.

While these phenomena are important and perhaps not widely known, they are not unprecedented and are fully consistent with known pathophysiological principles of disease. The key to understanding why these events occur—and could have been anticipated—is the concept of “sanctuary sites.”



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