His blood was declared Ebola-free, but the virus remained in an eye.
Ebola may stick around longer in survivors than researchers previously believed, and it may even cause eyes to change color, according to a case study released Thursday.
Dr. Ian Crozier, who contracted the virus while working as a World Health Organization volunteer at a treatment center in Kenema, Sierra Leone, underwent an intensive struggle with the disease after being transferred to Emory University Hospital in Atlanta. Less than two months after he was released in October, the New York Times reports, based on the study in the New England Journal of Medicine, Dr. Crozier was experiencing vision issues and pain in his left eye. Test results would later show that although Crozier’s blood had been declared Ebola-free, his eye was still full of the virus. Not only that, but the iris turned from blue to green.
“It felt almost personal that the virus could be in my eye without me knowing it,” he said, adding that the color change felt “like an assault.” Dr. Crozier’s sight and eye color later returned, mystifying doctors who had been helping treat his eye inflammation called uveitis, but his case shows researchers there is still much to learn about the deadly virus.