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Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever

Ebola hemorrhagic fever (EHF), caused by Ebola Zaire, Ebola Sudan and Ebola Cote d'Ivoire, "is often characterized by the sudden onset of fever, weakness, muscle pain, headache and sore throat. This is followed by vomiting, diarrhoea, rash, limited kidney and liver functions, and both internal and external bleeding" (WHO Fact Sheet). Blood begins to leak from every opening in the infected primate's body during the last stages of Ebola hemorrhagic fever. Ebola Virus Hemorrhagic Fever: General Information.

Researcher and Journalists' Descriptions of EHF

  • Microbiologist David Simpson, Belfast's Queens University, Description of EHF Caused by EBO-CI:
    "It's a fairly straightforward flu-like illness, which starts off with severe headache and severe watery diarrhea. It's then followed by a rash, a very, very sore throat--which feels like someone's rubbing a rope up and down inside and that is then followed by severe bleeding which can come from external orifices such as the nose, gums, the rectum and also from the uterus. But there is also severe bleeding into the gastrointestinal organs as well, with severe damage to the kidneys, liver and also the spleen." From an Outbreak interview.

  • David L. Heymann, MD, Director of Emerging Viral and Bacterial Diseases, Surveillance and Control, World Health Organization:
    "The symptoms which occur in Ebola are very similar to those which occur in may other diseases in tropical Africa. Fever, up to 40 degrees centigrade, extreme fatigue, muscle and joint pain, headache, especially frontal headache, hiccups (and hiccups in this case are a very bad sign.) They are associated with a very severe prognosis probably because of irritation to the diaphragm, ocular injection and in very light skinned persons a macular rash. After the sixth day, on days seven and eight, there is actually a clinical improvement in many cases and a decrease in fatigue and many persons feel extremely well during this period. For many this is only the beginning of a cure and as you know there is about a 30% survival rate in this disease. For those unfortunate ones who don't survive on day nine onwards they begin with hemorrhagic signs which you know well from having seen films from the outbreak in Zaire. Bleeding from the orifices and eventually death. So these are the signs and symptoms of Ebola which show that this disease in its early phase is very difficult to distinguish from other diseases in tropical Africa." From his EIINet Seminar, 2 April 1996.

Signs and Symptoms of Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever:

  1. Peters, C.J. and A.S. Khan. "Filovirus Diseases." Current Topics in Microbiology and Immunology 235. Berlin: Springer-Verlag. 1999.
  2. Zaki, S.R. and Peter Kilmarx. "Ebola Virus Hemorrhagic Fever." Pathology of Emerging Infections. Washington, DC: American Society for Microbiology. 1997.
  3. WHO. "WHO Fact Sheet."

©1999 Tara Waterman