Background: More than 26 000 cases of Ebola virus disease (EVD) have been reported in western Africa, with high mortality. Several patients have been medically evacuated to hospitals in the United States and Europe. Detailed clinical data are limited on the clinical course and management of patients with EVD outside western Africa. Objective: To describe the clinical characteristics and management of a cluster of patients with EVD, including the first cases of Ebola virus (EBOV) infection acquired in the United States. Design: Retrospective clinical case series. Setting: Three U.S. hospitals in September and October 2014. Patients: First imported EVD case identified in the United States and 2 secondary EVD cases acquired in the United States in critical care nurses who cared for the index case patient. Measurements: Clinical recovery, EBOV RNA level, resolution of Ebola viremia, survival with discharge from hospital, or death. Results: The index patient had high EBOV RNA levels, developed respiratory and renal failure requiring critical care support, and died. Both patients with secondary EBOV infection had nonspecific signs and symptoms and developed moderate illness; EBOV RNA levels were moderate, and both patients recovered. Limitation: Both surviving patients received uncontrolled treatment with multiple investigational agents, including convalescent plasma, which limits generalizability of the results. Conclusion: Early diagnosis, prompt initiation of supportive medical care, and moderate clinical illness likely contributed to successful outcomes in both survivors. The inability to determine the potential benefit of investigational therapies and the effect of patient-specific factors that may have contributed to less severe illness highlight the need for controlled clinical studies of these interventions, especially in the setting of a high level of supportive medical care. Primary Funding Source: None.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Internal Medicine