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Ebola Virus Disease: Focus on Children

Kourtis, Athena P. MD, PhD, MPH*; Appelgren, Kristie MD, MPH*; Chevalier, Michelle S. MD, MPH*; McElroy, Anita MD†‡

The Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal: August 2015 - Volume 34 - Issue 8 - p 893–897
doi: 10.1097/INF.0000000000000707
Review Article
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Ebola virus is one of the most deadly pathogens known to infect humans. The current Ebola outbreak in West Africa is unprecedented in magnitude and duration and, as of November 30, 2014, shows no signs of abating. For the first time, cases of Ebola virus disease have been diagnosed in the US, originating from patients who traveled during the incubation period. The outbreak has generated worldwide concern. It is clear that U.S. physicians need to be aware of this disease, know when to consider Ebola and how to care for the patient as well as protect themselves. Children comprise a small percentage of all cases globally, likely because of their lower risk of exposure given social and cultural practices. Limited evidence is available on pediatric disease course and prognosis. In this article, we present an overview of the pathogen, its epidemiology and transmission, clinical and laboratory manifestations, treatment and infection control procedures, with an emphasis on what is known about Ebola virus disease in the pediatric population.

From the *National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infections, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA and Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Pediatrics, Emory University, Atlanta, GA

Accepted for publication February 19, 2015.

The findings and conclusions in this report are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Address for correspondence: Athena P. Kourtis, MD, PhD, MPH, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, MS-F74, Atlanta, 30341 GA. E-mail: apk3@cdc.gov.

Copyright © 2015 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.