Bebell LM, Riley LE. Ebola virus disease and Marburg disease in pregnancy: a review and management considerations for filovirus infection. Obstetrics and gynecology. 2015 Jun;125(125). 1293-8. PMID: 26000499 [PubMed] PMCID: PMC4443859 NIHMSID: NIHMS671749.
The largest-ever recorded outbreak of viral hemorrhagic fever is ongoing. As a result of the epidemic and rural nature of outbreaks, little is published about the Filovirus infections Ebola virus disease and Marburg disease in pregnancy. This review of viral hemorrhagic fever focusing on Marburg and Ebola uses knowledge of disease in nonpregnant individuals and pregnancy-specific data to inform management for pregnant women. Filovirus infection presentation is similar between pregnant and nonpregnant patients, although infections may be more severe in pregnancy. Although labeled as hemorrhagic fevers, Marburg and Ebola do not commonly cause gross bleeding and should be conceptualized as diseases of high gastrointestinal losses. Early, aggressive supportive care is the mainstay of Filovirus infection management with massive fluid resuscitation as the key management principle. Patients often require 5-10 L or more per day of intravenous or oral fluid to maintain circulating blood volume in the setting of ongoing gastrointestinal loss. Fluid shifts warrant aggressive monitoring and correction of potassium levels and acid-base disturbances to prevent life-threatening arrhythmias and metabolic complications. Regardless of maternal survival, fetal loss rates are nearly 100% in Filovirus infection, likely resulting from unchecked transplacental and hematogenous viral spread. High fetal loss rates support the placenta as a difficult-to-eradicate Filovirus infection reservoir. In conclusion, the management of Filovirus infection in pregnancy should focus on stabilizing the mother with intensive monitoring and aggressive fluid and electrolyte repletion as well as maintaining strict infection control to minimize transmission to others.