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Ebola Changed a Man’s Eye Color from Blue to Green

eye color

Image credit: Emory Eye Center, via New York Times

When Dr. Ian Crozier survived Ebola and left the hospital just two months later, he suffered from severe pain and deteriorating vision in his left eye, which had been horrifically changed from blue to green. According to a report from the New York Times, doctors discovered that the left eye of Crozier was awash with the Ebola virus, of which he was clear as they thought previously.

Although it is quite unusual for eye color to change so sharply, this does occur occasionally due to viral infections, which would be normally. Generally speaking, changes in color are caused by the viral infection that does damage pigmented cells in the iris. However, being given necessary treatment, Crozier’s eye was turned back to its normal condition, while the reason is not known so far.

As Dr. C. Stephen Foster, a clinical professor of ophthalmology at HarvardMedicalSchool and the chief executive officer of the Massachusetts Eye Research and Surgery Institution, said, he had been in profession for forty years and he had never come across such a reversibility.

It is speculated by Crozier’s doctor that the change in eye color might be attributed to the viral infection leading to a “transformation” in the metabolism of the iris, which is uniform everywhere, but the exact cause of such metabolic alteration still remain mysterious in addition to some presumptions. Being interviewed with The New York Time, Foster said that it could occur again to other patients surviving Ebola.

After the epidemic was confirmed last year, more work had been done in concentrating on treatment and prevention. At present, doctors are facing the problem of ‘Post-Ebola Syndrome.

It is reported that Crozier and some other Ebola survivors in the West African countries have developed various symptoms, such as visual problems and pains felt on joints, muscles and chest, since they were infected with the virus. To the surprise of Crozier’s doctor, they discovered the virus inside his eye, because although the virus might be discovered in semen for months after the full recovery of a patient, other body fluids would be stay quite clear.

According to The World Health Organization (WHO), it is now necessary to offer help to Ebola survivors in West African counties, not only in handling their psychological and social needs, but also dealing with the urgent issue regarding physical after-effects brought by Ebola.

Sometime ago, Dr. Margaret Nanyonga, a psychosocial support officer for the WHO in Kenema, has called for more detailed information in regard to the reason why these symptoms are persistent , and whether these symptoms are the consequences of the disease or the treatment. To this end she has worked out an assessment tool which would be applied to identifying the most common symptoms, thus making efforts to do more so as to help survivors get rid of such ailments.