Determinants of patient survival during the 2014 Ebola Virus Disease outbreak in Bong County, Liberia

Thomas A. Weppelmann, Bangure Donewell, Ubydul Haque, Wenbiao Hu, Ricardo J.Soares Magalhaes, Mutaawe Lubogo, Lucas Godbless, Sasita Shabani, Justin Maeda, Herilinda Temba, Theophil C. Malibiche, Naod Berhanu, Wenyi Zhang, Luke Bawo

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6 Scopus citations


Background: The unprecedented size of the 2014 Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) outbreak in West Africa has allowed for a more extensive characterization of the clinical presentation and management of this disease. In this study, we report the trends in morbidity, mortality, and determinants of patient survival as EVD spread into Bong County, Liberia. Methods: An analysis of suspected, probable, or confirmed cases of EVD (n = 607) reported to the Liberian Ministry of Health and Social Welfare (MOHSW) between March 23rd and December 31st 2014 was conducted. The likelihood of infection given exposure factors was determined using logistic regression in individuals with a definitive diagnosis by RT-PCR (n = 321). The risk of short-term mortality (30 days) given demographic factors, clinical symptoms, and highest level of treatment received was assessed with Cox regression and survival analyses (n = 391). Results: The overall mortality rate was 53.5 % (95 % CI: 49 %, 58 %) and decreased as access to medical treatment increased. Those who reported contact with another EVD case were more likely to be infected (OR: 5.7), as were those who attended a funeral (OR: 3.9). Mortality increased with age (P < 0.001) and was higher in males compared to females (P =0.006). Fever (HR: 6.63), vomiting (HR: 1.93), diarrhea (HR: 1.99), and unexplained bleeding (HR: 2.17) were associated with increased mortality. After adjusting for age, hospitalized patients had a 74 % reduction in the risk of short term mortality (P < 0.001 AHR: 0.26; 95 % CI AHR: 0.18, 0.37), compared to those not given medical intervention. Conclusion: Even treatment with only basic supportive care such as intravenous rehydration therapy was able to significantly improve patient survival in suspected, probable, or confirmed EVD cases.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5
JournalGlobal Health Research and Policy
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2016


  • Detailed Epidemiological Data
  • Oral Rehydration Salt
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Short Term Mortality
  • Unexplained Bleeding


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