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Male Ebola survivors told to abstain from sex for three months to avoid infecting partners

Ebola survivors

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(NaturalNews) Officials with the United Nations' World Health Organization are warning that it is possible for the Ebola virus to remain in semen for up to three months after a patient recovers, and as such, male survivors of the dreaded disease should abstain from sex for at least that long.

According to an UN press release, the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) has said it will form 2,700 teams that will operate in villages throughout remote forested areas of West African nations -- where the virus has hit the hardest during the most recent outbreak -- "to educate villagers and monitor the epidemic at the community level."

A spokesman for UNICEF, Christopher Boulierac, announced the agency's plans by telephone from the Guinean village of Meliandou, during a press briefing in Geneva. The village is located in a forested region in southeastern Guinea, where most epidemiologists believe the current outbreak began in December.

Remoteness of villages makes job of education harder

"Today, the forest region is still the epicentre of Ebola in Guinea," Boulierac told reporters, adding that mobilization at the community level is complicated in remote areas because of strong existing tribal tensions between often rival villages.

The UN press release further stated:

In order to strengthen community mobilization, teams from UNICEF along with the UN Population Fund (UNFPA), UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the organization PLAN GUINEA were currently implementing a network of "Community Watch Committees," Mr. Boulierac said.

"Each village had such a committee consisting of five residents, with the aim of educating villagers and monitoring the epidemic at the community level," Boulierac added. "To date 660 Community Watch Committees had been established in the forest area, and 2,700 committees should be operational throughout Guinea by the end of the year."

The UNICEF spokesman also noted that children had been especially hard-hit by the spread of the deadly disease, in particular by disruption to routine vaccination schedules. Other UN officials have said the number of adult deaths from Ebola is dramatically inflating the number of orphans in the hardest-hit countries of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

"Parents had refused to take their children to health centres because of fears of Ebola," according to the UNICEF spokesman. "Before the Ebola emergency, less than 40 per cent of Guinean children enjoyed full vaccination coverage. Since March 2014, the number of children covered by routine vaccinations had decreased by half."

Meanwhile, the WHO released a press briefing noting that "semen may be infectious with the Ebola virus for as long as 3 months after onset of symptoms."

"The Ebola virus is shed in bodily fluids such as blood, vomit, faeces, saliva, urine, tears, and vaginal and seminal fluids," the global health organization said. "There is evidence that seminal fluids of convalescing men can shed the Ebola virus for at least 82 days after onset of symptoms."

No isolation recommended

"Because of the potential to transmit the virus sexually during this time, they should maintain good personal hygiene after masturbation, and either abstain from sex (including oral sex) for three months after onset of symptoms, or use condoms if abstinence is not possible," WHO added, noting that the agency was not recommending that male patients recovering from the virus and whose blood has now tested negative be isolated.

In other Ebola-related developments:

-- World Food Programme (WFP) spokeswoman Elisabeth Byrs told reporters recently that her agency had distributed about 21,000 metric tons of food to 1.6 million people in the three West African nations dealing with the outbreak since August.

-- The agency was pairing up with the Red Cross in nearby Mali to deliver food to 336 people who are currently under Ebola watch (known as "contact cases") in the Malian capital of Bamako.

-- The WFP has pre-positioned enough food stocks in Bamako to feed 10,000 people over a period of three months if need be, due to the Ebola outbreak.

-- WHO officials said the number of reported Ebola cases in Sierra Leone would soon outpace those reported in Liberia.

Learn all these details and more at the FREE online Pandemic Preparedness course at www.BioDefense.com






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