Ebola virus disease: A review for the emergency medicine clinician

Summer Chavez, Alex Koyfman, Michael Gottlieb, William J. Brady, Brandon M. Carius, Stephen Y. Liang, Brit Long

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Introduction: Ebolavirus, the causative agent of Ebola virus disease (EVD) has been responsible for sporadic outbreaks mainly in sub-Saharan Africa since 1976. EVD is associated with high risk of transmission, especially to healthcare workers during patient care. Objective: The purpose of this review is to provide a concise review of EVD presentation, diagnosis, and management for emergency clinicians. Discussion: EVD is spread through direct contact, including blood, bodily fluids or contact with a contaminated object. Patients may present with non-specific symptoms such as fevers, myalgias, vomiting, or diarrhea that overlap with other viral illnesses, but rash, bruising, and bleeding may also occur. Laboratory analysis may reveal transaminitis, coagulopathy, and disseminated intravascular coagulation. The average clinical course is approximately 8–10 days with an average case fatality rate of 50%. The mainstay of treatment is supportive care, with two U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved monoclonal antibody treatments (Ebanga and Inmazeb). Survivors of the disease may have a complicated recovery, marked by long-term symptoms. Conclusion: EVD is a potentially deadly condition that can present with a wide range of signs and symptoms. Emergency clinicians must be aware of the presentation, evaluation, and management to optimize the care of these patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)30-40
Number of pages11
JournalAmerican Journal of Emergency Medicine
Volume70
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2023

Keywords

  • Ebola
  • Ebola hemorrhagic fever
  • Ebola virus
  • Ebola virus disease
  • infectious diseases

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