Ebola virus disease in children during the 2014–2015 epidemic in Guinea: a nationwide cohort study
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The most recent epidemic of Ebola virus disease (EVD) has resulted in more than 11,000 deaths in West Africa. It has threatened child health in the affected countries, including Guinea. This nationwide retrospective cohort study included all children under 20 years of age with laboratory-confirmed EVD in Guinea during the 2014–2015 Ebola outbreak for analysis. Of 8,448 children with probable or suspected EVD, 695 cases were laboratory-confirmed EVD. The overall case fatality rate (CFR) was 62.9%. Pediatric patients with younger age had a significantly higher rate of death (adjusted OR = 0.995; 95%CI = 0.990–1.000; p = 0.046), with the highest CFR of 82.9% in children aged less than 5 years. Fever (91%), fatigue (87%), and gastrointestinal signs and symptoms (70%) were common clinical features on admission of the pediatric patients, while bleeding signs were not occurring often (24%). None of clinical features and epidemiologic risk factors for Ebola were associated with mortality outcome in our cohort study.
What is Known:
• The 2014–2015 West Africa Ebola epidemic is the largest and most widespread outbreak of Ebola virus disease (EVD) in history, with more than 11,000 deaths in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone.
• During ongoing outbreak investigations, it is suggested that young children aged less than 5 years are particularly vulnerable and highly susceptible to death.
What is New:
• Demographic and clinical characteristics of the nationwide cohort of pediatric patients with laboratory-confirmed EVD in Guinea are reported.
• The results confirm the high rate of death among EVD children under 5 years of age, while none of demographic and clinical features, except younger age, could serve as a predictor of mortality outcome in pediatric patients with EVD.
KeywordsEbola virus disease Ebola virus infection Epidemics Child Pediatrics Guinea
Case fatality rate
Ebola treatment center
Ebola virus disease
Real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction
World Health Organization
We thank Dr. Sakoba Keita and the Coordination Nationale de lutte contre la Maladie à Virus Ebola for the collaboration.
MSC designed and collaborated the study, analyzed the data, discussed and interpreted the results, and drafted a manuscript. NK designed the study, analyzed the data, discussed and interpreted the results, and finalized the manuscript. DK, SDC, SBD, FC, FC, AK, MD, MPD, ELG, and MC designed and collaborated the study, and provided comments for improving a manuscript. EFA, JK, and KH discussed and interpreted the results, and provided comments for improving a manuscript. All authors reviewed and approved the final manuscript.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.
Research involving human participants and/or animals
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
For this type of study formal consent is not required.
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