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Feature Infection control

Fear and stigma remain in survivors of Africa’s Ebola epidemic

BMJ 2021; 373 doi: (Published 10 May 2021) Cite this as: BMJ 2021;373:n1167
  1. Paul Adepoju, freelance journalist
  1. Ibadan, Nigeria
  1. adepojupaul{at}

An outbreak of Ebola virus traced to a survivor of the 2014 epidemic has revived concerns about survivor stigmatisation, reports Paul Adepoju

On 15 April, Guinea marked 12 consecutive days of no new confirmed cases of Ebola virus disease, but neither the country’s health ministry nor the World Health Organization issued a celebratory statement.

Efforts to rehabilitate affected communities in Guinea and the Democratic Republic of Congo have been hampered by fear.

First, one person in Guinea confirmed to have the disease had escaped quarantine, and 25 suspected cases remained in the community. Then tensions were heightened by a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine from the DRC’s National Institute of Biomedical Research in Kinshasa. Researchers there described a relapse of acute Ebola virus disease in a Guinean man who had survived the 2014 epidemic and had …

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