Ebola hemorrhagic fever, Kikwit, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 1995: risk factors for patients without a reported exposure

J Infect Dis. 1999 Feb;179 Suppl 1:S92-7. doi: 10.1086/514286.

Abstract

In 1995, 316 people became ill with Ebola hemorrhagic fever (EHF) in Kikwit, Democratic Republic of the Congo. The exposure source was not reported for 55 patients (17%) at the start of this investigation, and it remained unknown for 12 patients after extensive epidemiologic evaluation. Both admission to a hospital and visiting a person with fever and bleeding were risk factors associated with infection. Nineteen patients appeared to have been exposed while visiting someone with suspected EHF, although they did not provide care. Fourteen of the 19 reported touching the patient with suspected EHF; 5 reported that they had no physical contact. Although close contact while caring for an infected person was probably the major route of transmission in this and previous EHF outbreaks, the virus may have been transmitted by touch, droplet, airborne particle, or fomite; thus, expansion of the use of barrier techniques to include casual contacts might prevent or mitigate future epidemics.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Contact Tracing
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo / epidemiology
  • Disease Outbreaks*
  • Epidemiologic Factors
  • Female
  • Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola / epidemiology*
  • Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola / prevention & control
  • Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola / transmission*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Risk Factors