Ebola hemorrhagic fever in Kikwit, Democratic Republic of the Congo: clinical observations in 103 patients

J Infect Dis. 1999 Feb;179 Suppl 1:S1-7. doi: 10.1086/514308.


During the 1995 outbreak of Ebola hemorrhagic fever in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, a series of 103 cases (one-third of the total number of cases) had clinical symptoms and signs accurately recorded by medical workers, mainly in the setting of the urban hospital in Kikwit. Clinical diagnosis was confirmed retrospectively in cases for which serum samples were available (n = 63, 61% of the cases). The disease began unspecifically with fever, asthenia, diarrhea, headaches, myalgia, arthralgia, vomiting, and abdominal pain. Early inconsistent signs and symptoms included conjunctival injection, sore throat, and rash. Overall, bleeding signs were observed in <45% of the cases. Typically, terminally ill patients presented with obtundation, anuria, shock, tachypnea, and normothermia. Late manifestations, most frequently arthralgia and ocular diseases, occurred in convalescent patients. This series is the most extensive number of cases of Ebola hemorrhagic fever observed during an outbreak.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Arthralgia / etiology
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo / epidemiology
  • Disease Outbreaks*
  • Eye Diseases / etiology
  • Female
  • Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola / diagnosis
  • Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola / epidemiology*
  • Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola / etiology
  • Hospitals, Urban
  • Humans
  • Immune Tolerance
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Time Factors