Even 5 years after acute Ebola infection, a majority of former patients continue to have symptoms and, for many, these continue to greatly impact their lives.
Symptoms of headache, fatigue, joint pain, muscle pain, hearing loss, visual loss, numbness of hands or feet were longitudinally assessed among participants in the Liberian Ebola Survivors Cohort study.
From June 2015 to June 2016, 326 survivors were enrolled a median of 389 days (range 51-614) from acute EVD. At baseline 75.2% reported at least one symptom; 85.8% were highly interfering with life. Over a median follow-up of 5.9 years, reporting of any symptom declined (odds ratio for each 90 days of follow-up = 0.96, 95% CI: 0.95,0.97; p < 0.0001) with all symptoms declining except for numbness of hands or feet. Rating of any symptom as highly interfering decreased over time. Among 311 with 5 years of follow-up, 52% (n = 161) reported a symptom and 29% (n = 47) of these as highly interfering with their lives.