Ebola could be silently immunizing large numbers of people who never fall ill or infect others, according to a letter co-authored by SFI External Professor Lauren Ancel Meyers and published this week in the medical journal The Lancet.
If such immunity is confirmed, it would have significant ramifications on projections of how widespread the disease will be and could help determine strategies that health workers use to contain the disease, the authors write. Meyers is a professor in the Department of Integrative Biology at the University of Texas at Austin.
“Understanding the prevalence and immunological effects of these silent Ebola infections is critical to making reliable epidemic projections and improving control efforts,” Meyers says. “We believe that we can and should investigate this phenomenon as soon as possible.”
Read the letter in The Lancet (October 14, 2014)
Read the UT Austin news release (October 14, 2014)
Read the article on NBCNews.com (October 19, 2014)
Read her op-ed in The Huffington Post calling for an investigation of asymptomatic Ebola infection (October 16, 2014)