Ahead of Print -Contact Tracing Activities during the Ebola Virus Disease Epidemic in Kindia and Faranah, Guinea, 2014 - Volume 21, Number 11—November 2015 - Emerging Infectious Disease journal - CDC
Volume 21, Number 11—November 2015
Contact Tracing Activities during the Ebola Virus Disease Epidemic in Kindia and Faranah, Guinea, 2014
During March 23, 2014–July 8, 2015, Guinea reported 3,748 Ebola virus disease (EVD) cases and 2,499 EVD-related deaths (1), as part of what is the largest reported EVD epidemic to date (2). Thorough case identification and contact tracing are necessary to end this epidemic (3). Contact tracing involves locating all persons who have been exposed to someone infected with Ebola virus (case-patients) or their body fluids and monitoring them daily for EVD symptoms during the 3 weeks after the last exposure (4). This tracing permits immediate identification and isolation of symptomatic contacts (suspected case-patients). Incomplete contact tracing and delayed time to isolation of suspected case-patients may result in transmission of EVD to others in the community, perpetuating the epidemic.
Excluding Conakry, the capital, Guinea is divided into 33 prefectures, which are subdivided into >300 subprefectures; these divisions are large and smaller administrative governmental units, respectively. Of all Ebola cases nationwide, 3.0% and 1.9% have been identified in Kindia and Faranah (Organisation mondiale de la Sante, unpub. data), respectively, where respective populations are 4.1% and 2.6% of the national population (Institut National de la Statistique, Guinée, unpub. data). At the time of data collection, neither prefecture had its own Ebola treatment unit (ETU) or laboratory with Ebola virus testing capabilities; suspected case-patients were transported by ambulance to the nearest ETU, which was at minimum a 3-hour drive from either prefecture (Figure 1). We conducted a retrospective review of case and contact tracing data collected from a convenience sample from 2 Guinea prefectures, Kindia and Faranah, during the EVD epidemic response from September 20 through December 31, 2014. We provide descriptive analyses of case and contact tracing for these 2 prefectures to identify gaps in reporting and the yield of contact tracing; we also propose actions for improvement of the contact tracing process.
Dr. Dixon joined the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2013 as an Epidemic Intelligence Service officer in the Division of Global HIV/ AIDS. Her research interests are Ebola virus disease infections of health care workers, plasmodium-Ebola coinfection, and surveillance methods.
We thank Michael Wellman and Robert Neurath for creating the maps used to display data.
Surveillance and contact tracing activities were done by the Surveillance and Contact Tracing Teams in Kindia, Faranah, and Conakry, during September 20–December 31, 2014.
This project was supported by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, World Health Organization, and Guinea Ministry of Health.
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Suggested citation for this article: Dixon MG, Taylor MM, Hakim A, Cantey P, Dee J, Lim T, et al. Contact tracing activities during the Ebola virus disease epidemic in Kindia and Faranah, Guinea, 2014. Emerg Infect Dis. 2015 Nov [date cited]. http://dx.doi.org/10.3201/eid2111.150684