Diarrhea Can Be an Important Clinical Presentation of 2014 Western Africa Ebola Virus Infection

Document Type: Letters to the Editor

Authors

1 Sanitation 1 Medical Academic Center, Bangkok Thailand

2 Joseph Ayobabalola University, Nigeria

10.7508/ijp.2015.04.014

Abstract

Dear Editor-in-Chief
The present global consideration is on the recent outbreak of 2014 Western Ebola virus in West Africa (1 – 3). This viral hemorrhagic fever wide spreads to several countries in West Africa and remote countries (1 - 3). With high death rate, the disease is presently on the list of public health threatens. The main problem for management of the infection is the limited knowledge on its clinical presentation.
An interesting concern is on the gastroenterology presentation of this new disease. In fact, some new viral diseases such as atypical influenza virus infection can have an important clinical presentation as diarrhea (4). Here, the authors try to summarize on the magnitude of diarrhea in clinical presentation of this new disease. From information reported from 15 confirmed cases from Guinea (1 – 3, 5), 73.3% of the cases primarily present with diarrhea. This rate is considerable high comparing to those observed in other viral hemorrhagic disease such as dengue (rate of diarrhea at presentation < 5% (6).
This calls for the attention that it is necessary to think about new Ebola disease in any febrile illness patient with diarrhea who has history of visiting to outbreak area.

  1. Green A. WHO and partners launch Ebola response plan. Lancet 2014 Aug 9;384(9942):481.
  2. Fletcher TE, Brooks TJ, Beeching NJ. Ebola and other viral haemorrhagic fevers. BMJ 2014 Aug 11;349:g5079.
  3. Gostin LO, Lucey D, Phelan A. The Ebola Epidemic: A Global Health Emergency. JAMA 2014 Aug 11. doi: 10.1001/jama.2014.11176. (Epub ahead of print) 
  4. Wiwanitkit V. Diarrhoea as a presentation of bird flu infection: a summary on its correlation to outcome in Thai cases. Gut 2005 Oct;54(10):1506.
  5. Baize SPannetier DOestereich L et al. Emergence of Zaire Ebola Virus Disease in Guinea - Preliminary Report. N Engl J Med 2014 Apr 16. (Epub ahead of print)
  6. Wiwanitkit V. Dengue fever: diagnosis and treatment. Expert Rev Anti Infect Ther 2010 Jul;8(7):841-5.