Transmission of Ebola hemorrhagic fever: A study of risk factors in family members, Kikwit, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 1995

Scott F. Dowell, Rose Mukunu, Thomas G. Ksiazek, Ali S. Khan, Pierre E. Rollin, C. J. Peters

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Abstract

The surviving members of 27 households in which someone had been infected with Ebola virus were interviewed in order to define the modes of transmission of Ebola hemorrhagic fever (EHF). Of 173 household contacts of the primary cases, 28 (16%) developed EHF. All secondary cases had direct physical contact with the ill person (rate ratio [RR], undefined; P < .001), and among those with direct contact, exposure to body fluids conferred additional risk (RR, 3.6; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.9-6.8). After adjusting for direct contact and exposure to body fluids, adult family members, those who touched the cadaver, and those who were exposed during the late hospital phase were at additional risk. None of the 78 household members who had no physical contact with the case during the clinical illness were infected (upper 95% CI, 4%). EHF is transmitted principally by direct physical contact with an ill person or their body fluids during the later stages of illness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S87-S91
JournalJournal of Infectious Diseases
Volume179
Issue numberSUPPL. 1
StatePublished - Mar 1 1999

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Infectious Diseases

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