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Ebola - What You Need To Know

The Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) is protecting the public by working around the clock to prevent the spread of Ebola. The Ebola outbreak is centered in West Africa. There are no cases of Ebola transmission in Georgia.

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The Facts About Ebola
Symptoms and Diagnosis
Information for Travelers
Guidance for Hospitals
Occupation- Based Guidance (EMS, Nurses, Education, Etc.)
Ebola Resources from CDC, Emory
What DPH is Doing to Protect Georgia

The Facts About Ebola

  • National and international health authorities are currently working to control a large, ongoing outbreak of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD, or Ebola) involving areas in West Africa.
  • The first case identified in the U.S. was diagnosed on September 30, 2014, in a traveler from Liberia who had contact with an infected person while in Liberia who then traveled to Dallas, Texas.
  • 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.


Symptoms and Diagnosis

Health care providers should be alert for, and evaluate any patient who has had travel during the 21 days before symptom onset from an Ebola-affected area OR had contact with an individual who has Ebola AND Ebola symptoms: fever (including low-grade) headache, weakness, muscle pain, vomiting, loss of appetite, fatigue, diarrhea, abdominal pain or hemorrhage.
  • 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 be 2–21 days.
  • Ebola is NOT transmissible during the incubation period (i.e., before onset of fever or symptoms).
  • The risk for person-to-person transmission is greatest during the later stages of illness when viral loads are highest and a person is exhibiting symptoms.

Physicians are required to contact DPH at 1-866-PUB-HLTH as soon as EVD or any other hemorrhagic fever virus infection is reasonably suspected.


Information for Travelers

CDC urges all U.S. residents to avoid nonessential travel to LiberiaGuinea, and Sierra Leone because of ongoing outbreaks of Ebola in those countries. On Nov. 14, CDC added Mali to the list of Ebola-affected nations for which enhanced screening and monitoring measures will be taken. CDC recommends that travelers to these countries protect themselves by avoiding contact with the blood and body fluids of people who are sick with Ebola.

With guidance from Georgia's Ebola Response Team, the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) is monitoring travelers arriving at the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport from countries affected by Ebola.

>> MORE INFORMATION ON ATLANTA AIRPORT SCREENING AND MONITORING
>> CURRENT TRAVEL NOTICES (CDC)

Guidance for Hospitals

Georgia's Tiered Hospital System for Ebola

>> GUIDANCE FOR ALL HOSPITALS
>> GUIDANCE FOR DIAGNOSING HOSPITALS
>> EVD SCREENING TOOL

Occupation-Based Guidance for EMS, Nurses, Education, Others

DPH has developed specialized, occupation-based guidance available at the links below.

>> GUIDANCE FOR COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES
>> GUIDANCE FOR EMS PROFESSIONALS
>> GUIDANCE FOR FAITH-BASED COMMUNITIES
>> GUIDANCE FOR HEALTH CARE PROVIDERS AND LABORATORIES
>> GUIDANCE FOR NURSES
>> GUIDANCE FOR SCHOOLS (K-12)
>> PPE GUIDANCE FOR EBOLA

Ebola Resources from CDC, Emory Healthcare

Guidance from CDC and Emory Healthcare is available at the links below.

>> GENERAL EBOLA INFORMATION (CDC)
>> QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS ABOUT EBOLA AND PETS
>> WEST AFRICA OUTBREAK UPDATES (CDC)
>> EMORY HEALTHCARE EBOLA RESOURCE

What DPH is Doing to Protect Georgia

Governor Nathan Deal has assembled an Ebola Response Team to assess current state health and emergency management procedures and produce necessary recommendations to minimize any potential impact of the disease in Georgia. The team is comprised of representatives from the following: Georgia Emergency Management Agency, Georgia Department of Public Health, Georgia National Guard, Emory University Hospital—where four Ebola patients have been treated and released —University System of Georgia infectious disease experts, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, the City of Atlanta, and members of the nursing, rural hospital, EMT and education communities. The highest priority of the team is protection of the health of all Georgians.  The team's priorities include preparedness of hospitals, emergency medical services, and first responders, as well as the monitoring of individuals returning from the affected countries.

The Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) is protecting Georgians by working around the clock to prevent the spread of Ebola. DPH is in constant communication with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Georgia Governor Nathan Deal, the Governor's Ebola Response Team, Emergency Medical Services (EMS) providers, Georgia's hospitals, our state's physicians, physician assistants, nurses, and numerous other state and federal partners, in addition to our 18 Public Health Districts and 159 county health departments. DPH epidemiologists are working to track Ebola globally, while monitoring incoming travelers from affected nations.

>> BIOGRAPHIES OF THE GOVERNOR'S EBOLA RESPONSE TEAM

Contact Information

1-866-PUB-HLTH (Physicians are required to contact DPH as soon as EVD or any other hemorrhagic fever virus infection is reasonably suspected.)
>> EPIDEMIOLOGY SECTION
>> EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS SECTION
>> LOCAL PUBLIC HEALTH DISTRICT MAP AND CONTACT INFORMATION
>> NEWS MEDIA
>> DPH SPEAKERS BUREAU

This content was updated on 11-17-2014.