Delivery of an Ebola virus-positive stillborn infant in a rural community health center, Sierra Leone, 2015

Hilary Bower, Julian E Grass, Emily Veltus, Aaron Brault, Shelley Campbell, Alison Jane Basile, David Wang, Christopher D Paddock, Bobbie R Erickson, Johanna S Salzer, Jessica Belser, Eunice Chege, Dean Seneca, Gbessay Saffa, Ute Stroeher, Tom Decroo, Grazia M Caleo

Research output: Contribution to journalA1: Web of Science-articlepeer-review


We report the case of an Ebola virus (EBOV) RNA-negative pregnant woman who delivered an EBOV RNA-positive stillborn infant at a community health center in rural Sierra Leone, 1 month after the mother's last possible exposure. The mother was later found to be immunoglobulins M and G positive indicating previous infection. The apparent absence of Ebola symptoms and not recognizing that the woman had previous contact with an Ebola patient led health workers performing the delivery to wear only minimal personal protection, potentially exposing them to a high risk of EBOV infection. This case emphasizes the importance of screening for epidemiological risk factors as well as classic and atypical symptoms of Ebola when caring for pregnant women, even once they have passed the typical time frame for exposure and incubation expected in nonpregnant adults. It also illustrates the need for health-care workers to use appropriate personal protection equipment when caring for pregnant women in an Ebola setting.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAmerican Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)417-419
Number of pages3
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Community Health Workers
  • Ebolavirus/isolation & purification
  • Female
  • Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola/epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Midwifery
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications, Infectious/pathology
  • RNA, Viral/isolation & purification
  • Rural Health Services
  • Sierra Leone/epidemiology
  • Stillbirth
  • Viral Load
  • Young Adult


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