Shedding of Ebola Virus in an Asymptomatic Pregnant Woman

A 31-year-old woman in the late stage of a fifth pregnancy who had no history of coexisting illnesses or use of long-term medications presented to the hospital with suspected premature rupture of membranes. She was referred to the ELWA3 Ebola treatment unit (ETU) in Monrovia, Liberia, as was common practice in Monrovia for patients who potentially presented a hospital- exposure risk, such as during delivery. On admittance to the ETU, she had mild lower abdominal pain and sparse contractions and reported fetal movements (Fig. 1). She was afebrile and reported having had no contact with patients with EVD and did not meet the Ebola virus case definition. She underwent routine EBOV testing for anticipated transfer to the delivery clinic. The unique immunologic status of pregnant women might alter disease presentation and progression. This case highlights the challenges that clinicians may face in assessing pregnant women for possible infections, including EVD, and the potential risk for health care staff.


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