Public Health Management of Persons Under Investigation for Ebola Virus Disease in New York City, 2014-2016

Ann Winters, Maryam Iqbal, Isaac Benowitz, Jennifer Baumgartner, Neil M. Vora, Laura Evans, Nate Link, Iona Munjal, Belinda Ostrowsky, Joel Ackelsberg, Sharon Balter, Catherine Dentinger, Anne D. Fine, Scott Harper, Keren Landman, Fabienne Laraque, Marcelle Layton, Sally Slavinski, Don Weiss, Jennifer L. RakemanScott Hughes, Jay K. Varma, Ellen H. Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


During 2014-2016, the largest outbreak of Ebola virus disease (EVD) in history occurred in West Africa. The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) worked with health care providers to prepare for persons under investigation (PUIs) for EVD in New York City. From July 1, 2014, through December 29, 2015, we classified as a PUI a person with EVD-compatible signs or symptoms and an epidemiologic risk factor within 21 days before illness onset. Of 112 persons who met PUI criteria, 74 (66%) sought medical care and 49 (44%) were hospitalized. The remaining 38 (34%) were isolated at home with daily contact by DOHMH staff members. Thirty-two (29%) PUIs received a diagnosis of malaria. Of 10 PUIs tested, 1 received a diagnosis of EVD. Home isolation minimized unnecessary hospitalization. This case study highlights the importance of developing competency among clinical and public health staff managing persons suspected to be infected with a high-consequence pathogen.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)477-483
Number of pages7
JournalPublic Health Reports
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1 2019


  • Ebola virus
  • disease outbreaks
  • health department

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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