Dr. Ian Crozier was on the front lines in the global war against the dangerous ebola virus, and he got burned for it. It’s one of the biggest killers out there, and even under strictest precautions, it’s still a very dangerous disease that affects caregivers and medical personnel alike. Crozier was one of those personnel, shuttled back to the United States for treatment. Luckily, he survived, but not without some lingering issues. Months after being declared ebola free, Ian Crozier’s eye color changed due to rampant ebola infection within the eye.
Crozier’s condition is caused by uveitis, a dangerous eye inflammation that can lead to blindness. Fortunately, his eye surface and his tears are not ebola, but the virus continues to live in his eyeball. The virus also survives in other bodily fluids (like semen) for months after the disease has waned, and ebola survivors document something called post-ebola syndrome: deep fatigue, joint and muscle pain, hearing loss, and in some cases, blindness. That’s one of the things that changed Crozier’s eye color. It took him literally months to recover both the normal color of his eye and the proper functioning of the eye. That’s apparently not uncommon.
“We’re seeing symptoms in patients who’ve been out of the treatment unit for up to nine months,” said Dr. John Fankhauser, the medical director of ELWA Hospital in Monrovia, Liberia. “They’re still very severe and impacting their life every day.”
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