How severe and prevalent are Ebola and Marburg viruses

Added July 3, 2019

Citation: Nyakarahuka L, Kankya C, Krontveit R, Mayer B, Mwiine FN, Lutwama J, Skjerve E. How severe and prevalent are Ebola and Marburg viruses? A systematic review and meta-analysis of the case fatality rates and seroprevalence. BMC infectious diseases. 2016 Dec;16(1):708.

Summary: Evidence shows that case fatality rates (CFR) of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) and Marburg Virus Disease (MVD) are lower than that of what the media and other reports have been publicizing.

Ever since modern technology has allowed the identification of the various strains of Ebola virus in early outbreaks, studies have been conducted to quantify the CFR, severity, and seroprevalence of the different strains on EVD and MVD. However, a meta-analysis has never been performed to confirm the CFRs that have been published by a variety of sources.

Seventy-two articles that reported outbreaks and prevalence of EVD and MVD were analyzed and results show that there is a significant difference in the CFR to that of the other reports. Also, amongst the same strain of EVD, the CFR values were different across African countries, and showed a correlation with the degree of development of the surveillance system for viral hemorrhagic fever detection. Hence, the CFR is partially influenced by non-virological factors such as the healthcare system, and response mechanisms to outbreaks.


Disclaimer: This summary has been written by staff and volunteers of Evidence Aid in order to make the content of the original document accessible to decision makers who are searching for the available evidence on Ebola but may not have the time, initially, to read the original report in full. This summary is not intended as a substitute for the medical advice of physicians, other health workers, professional associations, guideline developers, or national governments and international agencies. If readers of this summary think that the evidence that is presented within it is relevant to their decision-making they should refer to the content and details of the original article, and the advice and guidelines offered by other sources of expertise, before making decisions. Evidence Aid cannot be held responsible for any decisions made about Ebola on the basis of this summary alone.