Viral

Scientists Have Just Discovered A New, Weird Symptom Of Ebola

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The recent Ebola outbreak was terrifying for the entire world, but it was particularly awful for Dr. Ian Crozier; he caught the virus while evacuating a critically ill patient to Emory University. But he got through it and made a full recovery… until, right before the new year, he accidentally discovered a new symptom of Ebola: His eye changed color.

Found by io9 and reported by the New York Times, Crozier apparently still had the virus in his eye, which seems scary enough, but what’s more odd is that his left eye turned from blue to green. It’s possible for a virus to change your eye color, usually by damaging the pigmented cells. But the really strange part was that, as the virus faded, Crozier’s eye returned to its normal blue.

How did this happen? Well, the august medical community has more or less admitted they have absolutely no idea. The color of your eyes is dictated by how much melanin you have scattered in the iris; the blue-eyed have almost none, the green-eyed have just a little. Of course, there’s the fact that nobody has any idea how the hell any of that actually happened. There’s no record of Ebola having any effect on melanin production in human beings. Similarly, there’s not a good explanation as to why the change was limited to one eye and why it was temporary.

Mostly this underlines how little we know about Ebola and how it works. But on the bright side, at least the problem was temporary, and Crozier has a fun anecdote to share at cocktail parties instead of that whole “Yeah, I nearly died” downer.

(Source: New York Times, io9)

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