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Last reviewed: 3 Nov 2023
Last updated: 06 Oct 2023



History and exam

Key diagnostic factors

  • exposure to Ebola virus in previous 21 days
  • fever
  • myalgia
  • conjunctival injection

Other diagnostic factors

  • fatigue
  • anorexia
  • diarrhea
  • vomiting
  • severe headache
  • abdominal pain or heartburn
  • cough, dyspnea, chest pain
  • sore throat
  • prostration
  • tachypnea
  • maculopapular rash
  • bleeding
  • hepatomegaly
  • lymphadenopathy
  • hiccups
  • tachycardia
  • hypotension
  • neurologic signs

Risk factors

  • living or working in, or arrival from, endemic area in previous 21 days
  • contact with infected body fluids
  • occupational exposure
  • butchering or consumption of meat from infected (or potentially infected) animals
  • bioterrorism

Diagnostic investigations

1st investigations to order

  • reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR)
  • malaria investigations

Investigations to consider

  • serum electrolyte levels
  • BUN/serum creatinine
  • blood lactate
  • ABG
  • CBC
  • coagulation studies
  • urinalysis
  • LFTs
  • serum amylase level
  • blood cultures
  • serum blood glucose
  • antigen-capture enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA)
  • IgM and IgG antibodies
  • chest x-ray

Treatment algorithm



Catherine F. Houlihan, MSc, MB ChB, MRCP, DTM&H

Clinical Lecturer

University College London

Honorary Clinical Lecturer

London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine




CFH has been on a scientific advisory board for Valneva regarding Chikungunya vaccines.

Manuel Fenech, MD, MRCP, DTM&H

Specialist Trainee in Infectious Diseases

Royal Liverpool University Hospital




MF declares that he has no competing interests.

Tom E. Fletcher, MBE, MBChB, MRCP, DTM&H

Wellcome Trust/MoD Research Fellow

Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine




TEF is an author of a number of references cited in this monograph. TEF is a consultant/expert panel member to the World Health Organization, and is funded by the UK Surgeon General and the Wellcome Trust. TEF has received research grants from the Medical Research Council and the UK Public Health Rapid Support Team (UK-PHRST).


Dr Catherine F. Houlihan, Dr Manuel Fenech, and Dr Tom E. Fletcher would like to thank Dr Nicholas J. Beeching, a previous contributor to this topic, and Dr Colin Brown (Infectious Disease Lead, Kings Sierra Leone Partnership) for his helpful comments and insights.


NJB was partially supported by the National Institute of Health Research Health Protection Unit in Emerging and Zoonotic Infections at the University of Liverpool and Public Health England. NJB is an author of references cited in this topic. CB declares that he has no competing interests.

Peer reviewers

William A. Petri, Jr, MD, PhD, FACP

Wade Hampton Frost Professor of Epidemiology

Professor of Medicine, Microbiology, and Pathology


Division of Infectious Diseases and International Health

University of Virginia




WAP declares that he has no competing interests.

Luis Ostrosky-Zeichner, MD, FACP, FIDSA, FSHEA

Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology

UT Health Medical School

Medical Director of Epidemiology

Memorial Hermann Texas Medical Center




LO-Z declares that he has no competing interests.

Stephen Mepham, MRCP (UK), FRCPATH, DTM&H, MD

Consultant in Microbiology and Infectious Diseases

Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust




SM declares that he has no competing interests.

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