Ebola Virus Disease Outbreak in West Africa
- National and international health authorities are currently working to control a large, ongoing outbreak of Ebola (eh-bo-luh) virus disease (EVD) involving areas in West Africa.
- This is the largest outbreak of EVD ever documented and the first recorded in West Africa.
- While the outbreak has affected many people in West Africa, an outbreak in the U.S. is extremely unlikely.
- Current information about the outbreak and a map of affected areas are available at http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/outbreaks/guinea/index.html.
About Ebola Virus Disease
- EVD is a rare and deadly disease. The disease is native to several African countries and is caused by infection with one of the Ebolaviruses. 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.
- The virus spreads in the human population through direct contact with a sick or deceased person’s blood or body fluids, or by contact with contaminated objects. The incubation period is usually 8–10 days (rarely ranging from 2–21 days). Patients can transmit the virus while febrile and through later stages of disease, as well as postmortem, when persons contact the body during funeral preparations. Ebola is NOT transmissible during the incubation period (i.e., before onset of fever).
- 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. Patients with severe forms of the disease may develop multi-organ dysfunction, including liver damage, kidney failure, and central nervous system involvement, leading to shock and death.
Information for Healthcare Workers
- U.S. healthcare workers are advised to be alert for signs and symptoms of EVD in patients with compatible illness who have a recent (within 21 days) travel history to countries where the outbreak is occurring, or had known exposure to a confirmed EVD case.
- More guidance for healthcare workers is available here
We will update this website as new information becomes available regarding EVD.
CDC Related Information and Guidance