Prof. Stephan Günther, WHO coordinator of the sequencing in Conakry/Guinea and Head of Virology at the Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine: "The results of this study are really remarkable. We knew that Ebola viruses can survive in body fluids, in the sperm of male survivors for example. But if they can do that for so long, recovered people should be given much more intensive follow-up care, both medically and socially. Because there is a great risk that they will be stigmatised."
Because the virus can re-emerge so late, he said, research should urgently look for effective antiviral agents as well as diagnostic markers to detect and treat latently infected people. In addition, it must be examined whether a subsequent vaccination of Ebola convalescents can prevent the persistence of the virus or at least shorten it.