• The contribution of Ebola viral load at admission and other patient characteristics to mortality in a Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) Ebola Case Management Centre (CMC), Kailahun, Sierra Leone, June -October, 2014.

      Fitzpatrick, Gabriel; Vogt, Florian; Gbabai, Osman B Moi; Decroo, Tom; Keane, Marian; De Clerck, Hilde; Grolla, Allen; Brechard, Raphael; Stinson, Kathryn; Van Herp, Michel (Oxford University Press, 2015-05-22)
      This paper describes patient characteristics, including Ebola viral load, associated with mortality in an MSF Ebola case management centre. Out of 780 admissions between June and October 2014, 525 (67%) were positive for Ebola with a known outcome. The crude mortality rate was 51% (270/525). Ebola viral load (whole blood sample) data was available on 76% (397/525) of patients. Univariate analysis indicated viral load at admission, age, symptom duration prior to admission and distance travelled to the CMC were associated with mortality (p value<0.05). The multivariable model predicted mortality in those with a viral load at admission greater than 10 million copies per millilitre (p value<0.05, Odds Ratio>10), aged 50 years or more (p value=0.08, Odds Ratio=2) and symptom duration prior to admission less than 5 days (p value=0.14). The presence of confusion, diarrhoea and conjunctivitis were significantly higher (p value<0.05) in Ebola patients who died. These findings highlight the importance viral load at admission has on mortality outcomes and could be used to cohort cases with viral loads greater than 10 million copies into dedicated wards with more intensive medical support to further reduce mortality.
    • Epidemiology of Ebola virus disease transmission among health care workers in Sierra Leone, May to December 2014: a retrospective descriptive study

      Olu, Olushayo; Kargbo, Brima; Kamara, Sarian; Wurie, Alie H; Amone, Jackson; Ganda, Louisa; Ntsama, Bernard; Poy, Alain; Kuti-George, Fredson; Engedashet, Etsub; et al. (BioMed Central, 2015-10-13)
      Abstract Background Anecdotal evidence suggests that much of the continuing infection of health care workers (HCWs) with Ebola virus during the current outbreak in Sierra Leone has occurred in settings other than Ebola isolation units, and it is likely that some proportion of acquisition by HCWs occurs outside the workplace. There is a critical need to define more precisely the pathways of Ebola infection among HCWs, to optimise measures for reducing risk during current and future outbreaks. Methods We conducted a retrospective descriptive study of Ebola acquisition among health workers in Sierra Leone during May–December 2014. The data used were obtained mainly from the national Ebola database, a cross-sectional survey conducted through administration of a structured questionnaire to infected HCWs, and key informant interviews of select health stakeholders. Results A total of 293 HCWs comprising 277 (95 %) confirmed, 6 (2 %) probable, and 10 (3 %) suspected cases of infection with Ebola virus were enrolled in the study from nine districts of the country. Over half of infected HCWs (153) were nurses; others included laboratory staff (19, 6.5 %), doctors (9, 3.1 %), cleaners and porters (9, 3.1 %), Community Health Officers (8, 2.7 %), and pharmacists (2, 0.7 %). HCW infections were mainly reported from the Western Area (24.9 %), Kailahun (18.4 %), Kenema (17.7 %), and Bombali (13.3 %) districts. Almost half of the infected HCWs (120, 47.4 %) believed that their exposure occurred in a hospital setting. Others believed that they were exposed in the home (48, 19 %), at health centres (45, 17.8 %), or at other types of health facilities (13, 5.1 %). Only 27 (10.7 %) of all HCW infections were associated with Ebola virus disease (EVD) isolation units. Over half (60 %, 150) of infected HCWs said they had been trained in infection prevention and control prior to their infection, whereas 34 % (85) reported that they had not been so trained. Conclusions This study demonstrated the perception that most HCW infections are associated with general health care and home settings and not with dedicated EVD settings, which should provide substantial reassurance to HCWs that measures in place at dedicated EVD facilities generally provide substantial protection when fully adhered to.