- National and international health authorities are currently working to control a large, ongoing outbreak of Ebola Virus Disease involving areas in West Africa. A map of affected areas and updated outbreak information is available at http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/outbreaks/guinea.
- The first case identified in the US was diagnosed on September 30, 2014 in a traveller from Liberia who had contact with an infected person while in Liberia and travelled to Dallas, TX.
Clinical and Epidemiologic Features
- Ebola is a rare and deadly disease. The disease is native to several African countries and is caused by infection with one of the ebolaviruses (Ebola, Sudan, Bundibugyo, or Taï Forest virus). The natural reservoir host of ebolaviruses remains unknown. However, researchers believe that the virus is zoonotic (animal-borne) with bats being the most likely reservoir.
- Ebola is spread by direct contact with a sick person’s blood or body fluids. It is also spread by contact with contaminated objects (such as needles) or infected animals.
- The incubation period (time from exposure to when a person develops symptoms) for Ebola is usually 8–10 days, but could potentially range from 2–21 days.
- Ebola is NOT transmissible during the incubation period (i.e., before onset of fever).
- The risk for person-to-person transmission is greatest during the later stages of illness when viral loads are highest.
- Symptoms include fever, headache, joint and muscle aches, sore throat, and weakness, followed by diarrhea, vomiting, and stomach pain. Skin rash, red eyes, and internal and external bleeding may be seen in some patients.
Information for Healthcare Workers
U.S. healthcare workers are advised to be alert for signs and symptoms of Ebola in patients with:
- Travel during the 21 days before symptom onset from an Ebola-affected area OR exposure to a person known to have Ebola. Ebola-affected areas can be found at www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola
- A fever (including low-grade) OR compatible Ebola symptoms (headache, weakness, muscle pain, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain or hemorrhage)
More guidance for healthcare workers is available here.
CDC Related Information and Guidance
In addition to the specialized guidance in the menu to the left, visit CDC:
This content was updated on 10-17-2014.