12 apparent Ebola cases reclassified as measles

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Jun 22, 2004 (CIDRAP News) – Twelve of the 30 recent cases of a disease thought to be Ebola hemorrhagic fever in Sudan have been reclassified as measles, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced today.

The change means the Ebola outbreak included 18 cases with 6 deaths, instead of 30 cases with 7 deaths, the WHO said. The cases were reclassified on the basis of clinical presentations, epidemiologic findings, and laboratory tests, including tests at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the agency said.

Measles cases have been present in the affected area and were reported to the WHO in March, the announcement said. Additional cases were detected because of the active surveillance system that was established for Ebola, officials said.

The change in the outbreak total to 18 cases with 6 deaths indicates an increase in the case-fatality rate from about 23% (30 cases with 7 deaths) to 33%. However, this remains well below the 50% to 90% fatality rates seen in previous Ebola outbreaks.

The WHO said it is continuing to conduct lab tests and active surveillance and monitor contacts of patients.

See also:

Jun 22 WHO statement
http://www.who.int/csr/don/2004_06_22/en/

CIDRAP overview of viral hemorrhagic fevers, including Ebola
http://www.cidrap.umn.edu/cidrap/content/bt/vhf/biofacts/index.html

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