LKSIoV member Dr. Michael Hawkes's study on Ebola shows that children may be hit harder and longer than adults

Analysis of lab data from previous outbreak in Congo provides critical information that will help doctors treat future pediatric patients.

30 November 2022


A recent study on how Ebola affected children during an outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo suggests children may be as susceptible to the disease as adults, despite often presenting with more subtle physical symptoms — vital information for doctors treating pediatric patients with the virulent disease today, and during potential outbreaks in the future. 

“Any pediatrician would tell you that children are not little adults. Their bodies respond to infections differently,” says University of Alberta researcher Michael Hawkes, an assistant professor in the Department of Pediatrics and senior author on the study.

“We’re right in the middle of an Ebola outbreak in Uganda, and this information is of critical importance to managing the children currently hospitalized with Ebola in Uganda,” he says.

Hawkes notes there is very little data available on the characteristics of Ebolavirus disease in children specifically. The researchers aimed to fill in that knowledge gap using medical data from the Kivu outbreak in Congo, which resulted in nearly 3,500 reported cases from 2018 to 2020. 

Read the full story in UAlberta's Folio