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Uncovering More Questions: Salome Karwah and the Lingering Impact of Ebola Virus Disease on the Reproductive Health of Survivors

  • Christine L. Godwin
  • David A. Schwartz
Chapter
Part of the Global Maternal and Child Health book series (GMCH)

Abstract

A relative dearth of research exists regarding the unique physical and social impact of Ebola on its female survivors. This fact is exemplified by the case of Salome Karwah who, in 2014, contracted Ebola virus disease (EVD), recovered, and then returned to the Ebola Treatment Unit (ETU) to care for other victims of the disease. For her heroism, Salome was recognized on the cover of Time Magazine as a Person of the Year for her work in combating the Ebola epidemic. Following the Ebola outbreak, Salome returned to care for Ebola patients together with her husband. In February 2017, and following complications of hypertensive disease of pregnancy, a healthy baby boy was delivered. Tragically, Salome died 4 days later of pregnancy complications, likely a result of eclampsia. Liberia has remained one of the most dangerous countries to be pregnant, both before, during, and after the Ebola epidemic. This chapter discusses the heroism of Salome, the potential implications of Ebola survivorship on the reproductive health of men and women, and the long-term persistence of Ebola virus in the genital tract of male and female survivors of the disease.

Keywords

Ebola virus disease Ebola survivor Stigma Immune privilege Post-Ebola syndrome Pregnancy Miscarriage Stillbirth Menstruation Viral persistence Salome Karwah Médecins Sans Frontières Doctors Without Borders Semen 

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christine L. Godwin
    • 1
  • David A. Schwartz
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Maternal and Child HealthGillings School of Global Public Health, University of North Carolina at Chapel HillChapel HillUSA
  2. 2.Department of PathologyMedical College of Georgia, Augusta UniversityAugustaUSA

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