Even Severe Ebola Cases Can Be Treated With Intensive Care

Case report demonstrates effective treatment of patient with complications including septicemia

THURSDAY, Oct. 23, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Even severe Ebola virus disease (EVD), with multiple complications, can be treated effectively with routine intensive care, according to a case study published online Oct. 22 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Benno Kreuels, M.D., from the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf in Germany, and colleagues described a complicated case of EVD in a 36-year-old male patient.

The researchers report that the patient contracted EVD in Sierra Leone and was airlifted to an isolation facility in Germany on day 10 of the illness. The patient experienced multiple complications, including gram-negative septicemia, respiratory failure, and encephalopathy, during the course of the illness. High-volume fluid resuscitation (about 10 liters per day in the first 72 hours); broad-spectrum antibiotic therapy; and ventilator support were employed as intensive supportive treatment measures resulting in full recovery without the use of experimental therapies. The detection of viral RNA in urine and sweat (days 31 and 40, respectively) delayed discharge, but the last positive cultures were identified in plasma and urine on days 14 and 26, respectively.

"This case shows the challenges in the management of EVD and suggests that even severe EVD can be treated effectively with routine intensive care," the authors write.

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