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Ebola survivors experience lingering ailments

Of the roughly 13,000 Ebola survivors, The Associated Press reports that many are experiencing lingering effects even after beating the deadly virus.

While some survivors have shown eye troubles, others complained of hearing issues, fatigue and other physical and emotional pains.

After the biggest Ebola outbreak in history, medical professionals are still trying to figure out what kind of after-effects survivors will experience, the extent of the problems some may suffer and how to control these symptoms.

“If we can find out this kind of information, hopefully we can help other Ebola survivors in the future,” Dr. Zan Yeong, an eye specialist involved in studying survivors in Liberia, told the AP.

Vision seems to be one of the most common effects seen in Ebola survivors. The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that visual problems affected approximately 50 percent of the Ebola survivors in Kenema, Sierra Leone.

WHO reports that if these vision maladies are left untreated, they become progressively worse and could result in blindness.

The Liberia-U.S. clinical researching partnership, PREVAIL, has launched a study of Ebola survivors to hope to better understand the long-term health effects. The study will take place at various sites in Liberia and is expected to enroll around 7,500 people, including 1,500 people who survived the disease, and 6,000 of their close contacts.

Nancy Writebol, who announced she would be returning to Liberia after being the second American to contract the disease, reported fatigue and joint pain after recovering.

Writebol who is part of the Serving In Mission (SIM) Christian organization, is helping a survivor clinic in Liberia, and told the AP she is seeing many people with vision problems and more.

“One of the greatest complaints that we see is joint pain. And you can tell just by the way people are moving that they are suffering.”

To date, the epidemic has claimed about 11,300 lives, according to WHO. Since January of this year, West Africa saw a significant drop in cases, and Sierra Leone’s last known patient left the hospital today, but as medical experts are now finding out, the fight may be far from over.