Ophthalmic sequelae and psychosocial impact in pediatric ebola survivors

Jessica G. Shantha, Dominick Canady, Caleb Hartley, Amy Cassedy, Chris Miller, Sheila T. Angeles-Han, Lloyd C.M. Harrison-Williams, Matthew J. Vandy, Natalie Weil, Gilberte Bastien, Steven Yeh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreaks in West Africa (2013-2016) and the Democratic Republic of Congo (2018-2020) have resulted in thousands of EVD survivors who remain at-risk for survivor sequelae. While EVD survivorship has been broadly reported in adult populations, pediatric EVD survivors are under-represented. In this cross-sectional study, we investigated the prevalence of eye disease, health-related quality-of-life, vision-related quality-of-life, and the burden of mental illness among pediatric EVD survivors in Sierra Leone. Methods: Twenty-three pediatric EVD survivors and 58 EVD close contacts were enrolled. Participants underwent a comprehensive ophthalmic examination and completed the following surveys: Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory Version 4.0, Effect of Youngsters Eyesight on Quality-of-Life, and the Revised Child Anxiety and Depression Scale. Findings: A higher prevalence of uveitis was observed in EVD survivor eyes (10·8%) cohort compared to close contacts eyes (1·7%, p=0·03). Overall, 47·8% of EVD survivor eyes and 31·9% of close contact eyes presented with an eye disease at the time of our study (p=0·25). Individuals diagnosed with an ocular complication had poorer vision-related quality-of-life (p=0·02). Interpretation: Both health related quality-of-life and vision-related quality-of-life were poor among EVD survivors and close contacts. The high prevalence of eye disease associated with reduced vision health, suggests that cross-disciplinary approaches are needed to address the unmet needs of EVD survivors. Funding: National Institutes of Health R01 EY029594, K23 EY030158; National Eye Institute; Research to Prevent Blindness (Emory Eye Center); Marcus Foundation Combating Childhood Illness; Emory Global Health Institute; Stanley M. Truhlsen Family Foundation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number101483
StatePublished - Jul 2022


  • Ebola
  • Ebola virus disease
  • Emerging infectious diseases
  • Mental health
  • Post-Ebola virus disease syndrome
  • Psychosocial stressors
  • Uveitis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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