Research Papers:

The etiology of Ebola virus disease-like illnesses in Ebola virusnegative patients from Sierra Leone

Wen-Gang Li, Wei-Wei Chen, Lei Li, Dong Ji, Ying-Jie Ji, Chen Li, Xu-Dong Gao, Li-Fu Wang, Min Zhao, Xue-Zhang Duan and Hui-Juan Duan _

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Oncotarget. 2016; 7:27910-27915. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.8558

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Wen-Gang Li1,2,*, Wei-Wei Chen1,2,*, Lei Li1,2, Dong Ji1,2, Ying-Jie Ji1,2, Chen Li1,2, Xu-Dong Gao1,2, Li-Fu Wang1,2, Min Zhao1,2, Xue-Zhang Duan1,2, Hui-Juan Duan1,2

1302 Military Hospital of PLA, Beijing, China

2Sierra Leone-China Friendship Hospital, Freetown, Sierra Leone

*These authors have contributed equally to this work

Correspondence to:

Hui-Juan Duan, e-mail: [email protected]

Xue-Zhang Duan, e-mail: [email protected]

Keywords: Ebola virus disease (EVD), EVD-suspected cases, malaria, HIV, Lassa fever

Received: January 14, 2016     Accepted: March 18, 2016     Published: April 02, 2016


During the 2014 Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak, less than half of EVD-suspected cases were laboratory tested as Ebola virus (EBOV)-negative, but disease identity remained unknown. In this study we investigated the etiology of EVD-like illnesses in EBOV-negative cases. From November 13, 2014 to March 16, 2015, EVD-suspected patients were admitted to Jui Government Hospital and assessed for EBOV infection by real-time PCR. Of 278 EBOV negative patients, 223 (80.21%), 142 (51.08%), 123 (44.24%), 114 (41.01%), 59 (21.22%), 35 (12.59%), and 12 (4.32%) reported fever, headache, joint pain, fatigue, nausea/vomiting, diarrhea, hemorrhage, respectively. Furthermore, 121 (43.52%), 44 (15.83%), 36 (12.95%), 33 (11.87%), 23 (8.27%), 10 (3.60%) patients were diagnosed as infection with malaria, HIV, Lassa fever, tuberculosis, yellow fever, and pneumonia, respectively. No significant differences in clinical features and symptoms were found between non-EVD and EVD patients. To the best of our knowledge, the present study is the first to explore the etiology of EVD-like illnesses in uninfected patients in Sierra Leone, highlighting the importance of accurate diagnosis to EVD confirmation.

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