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Ebola virus could reproduce in lungs of recovering patient

Staff Writer |
Researchers say they've discovered signs that the Ebola virus could lurk in the lungs and reproduce in a recovering patient.

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Researchers have suspected this, but weren't sure that the virus infects the lung.

Dr. Giuseppe Ippolito and colleagues at the National Institute for Infectious Diseases in Rome monitored the lungs and blood of one patient with Ebola infection.

The investigators found signs that the virus lingered in the lungs for almost a week after it was no longer found in the patient's blood and that it also may have reproduced.

"This suggests a major role of the respiratory tissues in the pathogenesis of Ebola virus disease," the study authors wrote, referring to the way the virus takes hold in the body.

The researchers said they still want to understand the significance of lung infection and whether it plays a role in spreading Ebola.

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