An Outbreak of Ebola Virus Disease in the Lassa Fever Zone

Augustine Goba, S. Humarr Khan, Mbalu Fonnie, Mohamed Fullah, Alex Moigboi, Alice Kovoma, Vandi Sinnah, Nancy Yoko, Hawa Rogers, Siddiki Safai, Mambu Momoh, Veronica Koroma, Fatima K. Kamara, Edwin Konowu, Mohamed Yillah, Issa French, Ibraham Mustapha, Franklyn Kanneh, Momoh Foday, Helena McCarthyTiangay Kallon, Mustupha Kallon, Jenneh Naiebu, Josephine Sellu, Abdul A. Jalloh, Michael Gbakie, Lansana Kanneh, James L.B. Massaly, David Kargbo, Brima Kargbo, Mohamed Vandi, Momoh Gbetuwa, Sahr M. Gevao, John D. Sandi, Simbirie C. Jalloh, Donald S. Grant, Sylvia O. Blyden, Ian Crozier, John S. Schieffelin, Susan L. McLellan, Shevin T. Jacob, Matt L. Boisen, Jessica N. Hartnett, Robert W. Cross, Luis M. Branco, Kristian G. Andersen, Nathan L. Yozwiak, Stephen K. Gire, Ridhi Tariyal, Daniel J. Park, Allyson M. Haislip, Christopher M. Bishop, Lilia I. Melnik, William R. Gallaher, William C. Wimley, Jing He, Jeffrey G. Shaffer, Brian M. Sullivan, Sonia Grillo, Scott Oman, Courtney E. Garry, Donna R. Edwards, Stephanie J. McCormick, Deborah H. Elliott, Julie A. Rouelle, Chandrika B. Kannadka, Ashley A. Reyna, Benjamin T. Bradley, Haini Yu, Rachael E. Yenni, Kathryn M. Hastie, Joan B. Geisbert, Peter C. Kulakosky, Russell B. Wilson, Michael B.A. Oldstone, Kelly R. Pitts, Lee A. Henderson, James E. Robinson, Thomas W. Geisbert, Erica Ollmann Saphire, Christian T. Happi, Danny A. Asogun, Pardis C. Sabeti, Robert F. Garry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background. Kenema Government Hospital (KGH) has developed an advanced clinical and laboratory research capacity to manage the threat of Lassa fever, a viral hemorrhagic fever (VHF). The 2013-2016 Ebola virus (EBOV) disease (EVD) outbreak is the first to have occurred in an area close to a facility with established clinical and laboratory capacity for study of VHFs. Methods. Because of its proximity to the epicenter of the EVD outbreak, which began in Guinea in March 2014, the KGH Lassa fever Team mobilized to establish EBOV surveillance and diagnostic capabilities. Results. Augustine Goba, director of the KGH Lassa laboratory, diagnosed the first documented case of EVD in Sierra Leone, on 25 May 2014. Thereafter, KGH received and cared for numbers of patients with EVD that quickly overwhelmed the capacity for safe management. Numerous healthcare workers contracted and lost their lives to EVD. The vast majority of subsequent EVD cases in West Africa can be traced back to a single transmission chain that includes this first diagnosed case. Conclusions. Responding to the challenges of confronting 2 hemorrhagic fever viruses will require continued investments in the development of countermeasures (vaccines, therapeutic agents, and diagnostic assays), infrastructure, and human resources.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S110-S121
JournalJournal of Infectious Diseases
Volume214
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 15 2016

Keywords

  • Ebola virus
  • Epidemiology
  • Genomic sequencing
  • Lassa virus
  • Research capacity building
  • Viral hemorrhagic fever diagnostics
  • West African Ebola outbreak 2013-16

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Infectious Diseases

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