Ebola virus disease (formerly known as Ebola hemorrhagic fever) is a severe, often fatal illness, with a case fatality rate of up to 90 percent. It is one of the world’s most virulent diseases.
Patients with Ebola generally have an abrupt onset of fever. Symptoms of Ebola include a fever greater than 100.4°F, severe headache, muscle pain, weakness, diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and unexplained bleeding or bruising. Symptoms typically present 8 to 12 days after exposure, but symptoms can occur anytime from 2 to 21 days after exposure to the Ebola virus.
Ebola is transmitted by direct contact with the blood, body fluids, and tissues of infected animals or people. It can only be spread to other after the onset of symptoms.
The virus is spread through direct contact (through broken skin or mucous membranes) with
- A sick person’s blood or body fluids (urine, saliva, feces, vomit, and semen)
- Objects (such as needles) that have been contaminated with infected body fluids
- Infected animals
What you can do:
Prevention is paramount! The infection can be controlled through the use of recommended protective measures. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued the following guidance for infection control measures to care for a suspected Ebola patient:
- Wear protective clothing (such as masks, gloves, gowns, and goggles)
- Use infection-control measures (such as complete equipment sterilization and routine use of disinfectant)
- Isolate patients with Ebola from contact with unprotected persons
Learn more and share:
- Ebola Virus Disease—APIC
- Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever—The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- Signs and symptoms—The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- Information for healthcare workers—The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- Interim Guidance for Environmental Infection Control in Hospitals for Ebola Virus—The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- Infection Prevention and Control Recommendations for Hospitalized Patients with Known or Suspected Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever in U.S. Hospitals—The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- Emergency department evaluation and management of patients under investigation for Ebola virus disease—The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention