What is Ebola Virus Disease?
Ebola Virus Disease (formerly known as Ebola Haemorrhagic Fever) is a severe, often fatal illness, with a death rate of about 25% to 90%.
Ebola is not a new disease, but appeared in 1976 in two simultaneous outbreaks in the Democratic Republic of Congo and in Sudan.
What are the Signs and Symptoms?
Ebola signs and symptoms appear anywhere from 2 – 21 days after infection, with an average of 8 – 10 days. This is
called the incubation period.
The first signs and symptoms of Ebola Virus Disease are non-specific, and are usually:
- Sore Throat
- Malaise (Feeling unwell)
There is often some overlap between the first signs and symptoms and the ones which follow, which are:
- Muscle Pain
- Bleeding – Internal or external
Patients do not always develop all signs and symptoms.
How is Ebola spread?
Ebola Virus Disease is spread through:
- Direct contact of broken skin or mucous membranes with blood and body fluids (stool, vomit, urine, semen, sweat) of infected persons who show signs and symptoms of the disease.
- Contact with environments that have become contaminated with blood or body fluids of an infected person, such as soiled clothing, bed linen, utensils, needles and syringes.
- Touching or handling the body of someone who has died from Ebola without using protective gear.
The virus is also found in the breast milk of women with Ebola Virus Disease.
You cannot spread the Ebola virus to others until you begin to show signs and symptoms of the disease.
Who is at highest risk for Ebola?
- Health workers.
- Family members or others in close contact with infected person.
- Persons who have direct contact with the body of the deceased.
What should you do if you feel you have been exposed to Ebola?
- Call 1-888-ONE LOVE(1-888-663-5683).
- Watch for signs and symptoms for 21 days.
- Minimize close contact with others.
What is the treatment for Ebola?
- Currently, there is no vaccine or specific cure.
- Ebola patients need supportive treatment including intravenous (IV) fluids or oral rehydration with solutions that contain electrolytes.
- Early treatment can increase the chance of survival.
- Some patients will recover with the appropriate medical care.
Ways to prevent infection and transmission
- Stay informed about the Ebola Virus.
- Disease and share correct information with others.
- Avoid direct physical contact with anyone who is showing symptoms of Ebola.
- Wash hands frequently with soap and water and use alcohol-based hand sanitizer throughout the day.
- Avoid travel to Ebola affected areas.
If you suspect someone close to you or in your community may have Ebola
- Call 1-888-ONE-LOVE(1-888-663-5683).
- Encourage person to seek medical care.
- Avoid direct contact with person.
- Do not handle items that may have come in contact with an infected person such as bed linen and clothes.
- An Ebola patient must be treated by a trained health professional.