Health Highlights: Feb. 13, 2015

By on February 13, 2015

Health Highlights: Feb. 13, 2015

Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:

Ebola Victims Infectious For Week After Death: Study

People killed by Ebola remain infectious for at least a week after they die, a new study says.

In the outbreak in West Africa, it’s believed many people contracted the highly infectious disease from unprotected contact with corpses.

The study offers “microbiological proof positive of what we’ve been observing in a field setting — that kissing or washing or caressing bodies is almost certainly the way a lot gets transmitted,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, the New York Times reported.

In the study, monkeys were infected with Ebola. When they were on the verge of death, they were euthanized and their bodies placed in plastic tubs in a temperature-controlled chamber set to mimic hot August in West Africa.

As the monkeys decomposed for 10 weeks, their mouths, noses, eyes, skin and other surfaces were swabbed each day and samples collected from their livers, spleens, lungs and muscles, The Times reported.

Infectious Ebola virus was detected in the surface swabs for seven days after the monkeys died, and in their internal organs for three days after death.

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