Housatonic Valley Health District
Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) is a rare and deadly disease in people and nonhuman primates. The viruses that cause EVD are located mainly in sub-Saharan Africa. People can get EVD through direct contact with an infected animal (bat or nonhuman primate) or a sick or dead person infected with Ebola virus.
Ebola virus was first discovered in 1976 near the Ebola River in what is now the Democratic Republic of Congo. Since then, the virus has been infecting people from time to time, leading to outbreaks in several African countries.
Q: What is the Ebola Virus?
A: Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) is a rare and deadly disease in people and nonhuman primates. The viruses that cause EVD are located mainly in sub-Saharan Africa. People can get EVD through direct contact with an infected animal (bat or nonhuman primate) or a sick or dead person infected with Ebola virus.
Q:What are the signs and symptoms of Ebola?
A: Fever, aches and pains (i.e. severe headache and muscle & joint pain), weakness and fatigue, sore throat, loss of appetite, gastrointestinal symptoms including abdominal pain, diarrhea, and vomiting, and unexplained hemorrhaging, bleeding, or bruising.
Q:When do symptoms appear after exposure?
A: Symptoms may appear anywhere from 2 to 21 days after contact with the virus, with an average of 8 to 10 days.
Q: How does the Flu spread?
A: The virus spreads through direct contact (such as through broken skin or mucous membranes in the eyes, nose, or mouth) with:
- Blood or body fluids (urine, saliva, sweat, feces, vomit, breast milk, amniotic fluid, and semen) of a person who is sick with or has died from Ebola virus disease (EVD).
- Objects (such as clothes, bedding, needles, and medical equipment) contaminated with body fluids from a person who is sick with or has died from EVD.
- Infected fruit bats or nonhuman primates (such as apes and monkeys).
- Semen from a man who recovered from EVD (through oral, vaginal, or anal sex). The virus can remain in certain body fluids (including semen) of a patient who has recovered from EVD, even if they no longer have symptoms of severe illness. There is no evidence that Ebola can be spread through sex or other contact with vaginal fluids from a woman who has had Ebola.
Q: How can I prevent the flu?
A: You can prevent contracting Ebola by:
- Avoid contact with blood and body fluids (such as urine, feces, saliva, sweat, vomit, breast milk, amniotic fluid, semen, and vaginal fluids) of people who are sick. Avoid contact with semen from a man who has recovered from EVD, until testing shows that the virus is gone from his semen.
- Avoid contact with items that may have come in contact with an infected person’s blood or body fluids (such as clothes, bedding, needles, and medical equipment).
- Avoid funeral or burial practices that involve touching the body of someone who died from EVD or suspect EVD.
Q: Are there treatment options for the Flu?
A:The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the Ebola vaccine rVSV-ZEBOV (called Ervebo®) on December 19, 2019. This is the first FDA-approved vaccine for Ebola. This vaccine is given as a single dose vaccine and has been found to be safe and protective against Zaire ebolavirus, which has caused the largest and most deadly Ebola outbreaks to date.
- Ebola Outbreaks
- Ebola Exposure Calculator
- WHO – Ebola
- Quarantine & Isolation Guidance – Ebola & Travel (CDC)
Updated: September 19, 2023