General Information about Ebola
Ebola is a rare and deadly disease caused by infection with one of the Ebola virus strains.
Ebola is spread through direct contact with a person or animal with Ebola. Direct contact includes contact with blood, secretions, or other body fluids, or exposure to contaminated objects, such as needles. Body fluids include blood, saliva, mucus, vomit, feces, sweat, tears, breast milk, urine, and semen.
Ebola cannot be spread simply by being near someone who is infected. People only become contagious after they begin to have symptoms.
The severity of the disease varies, but more than 50% of patients with Ebola have died during past outbreaks. There is no cure or vaccine; however, some people can recover with intensive treatment in a hospital setting.
Symptoms of Ebola
Symptoms of Ebola include sudden fever, sometimes with a headache and joint and muscle aches. Other symptoms may include nausea, weakness, diarrhea, vomiting, stomach pain, and lack of appetite.
Some patients may also experience rash, red eyes, hiccups, cough, sore throat, chest pain, problems breathing, problems swallowing, or bleeding inside and outside the body.
Symptoms usually appear 8 to 10 days after exposure, but may appear anywhere from 2 to 21 days after exposure.
Seek medical care right away if you have symptoms and had direct contact with a person or animal with Ebola. Tell your doctor about your recent travel, and be sure to notify the doctor’s office or emergency room about your symptoms before going so that arrangements can be made, if needed, to prevent others from becoming sick.
Prevention of Ebola
Ebola is not contagious until symptoms appear. Ebola is not spread through the air, by water, or in general, food.
People should practice careful hygiene and avoid contact with the blood and body fluids of people who are ill with Ebola.