Ebola Virus Disease – General Information

What is Ebola virus disease?
Ebola virus disease is a severe, often fatal, viral disease. For the most current information regarding Ebola and outbreaks caused by Ebola, visit http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/.

What are the symptoms of Ebola virus disease?
Ebola virus disease symptoms usually include fever. Other symptoms may include headache, diarrhea, vomiting, weakness, joint and muscle aches, stomach pain, lack of appetite and bleeding. The symptoms can be similar to other, more common, infections. Symptoms appear 2-2­1 days after exposure to the virus, but most commonly occur 8-10 days after exposure.

How is Ebola spread?
Individuals who do not have a fever are not contagious and cannot transmit the disease to another person. The Ebola virus is transmitted through direct contact with the blood or body fluids of an infected person with symptoms or through exposure to objects (such as needles) that have been contaminated with infected body fluids. Transmission can also occur from directly handling bats, rodents or primates in areas where Ebola occurs.

Who is at risk for Ebola?
Individuals who have recently been in a country with known Ebola, and who also have:

  • Contact with blood or other body fluids of a patient or dead body known to have or suspected to have Ebola,
  • or

  • Direct handling of bats, rodents or primates.

If someone has symptoms of Ebola virus disease and a possible exposure, that person should see a healthcare provider.

What is the treatment for Ebola?
There is no specific treatment for Ebola; treatment is limited to close monitoring and supportive care in a hospital.

What is the risk of Ebola in Maryland?
Currently, the risk of acquiring Ebola in Maryland is extremely low. If a case is identified, there are established infection control guidelines to prevent transmission.

What is the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) doing?
DHMH is monitoring the national and global situation and is in frequent communication with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). DHMH is conducting disease surveillance and regularly communicates with and distributes guidance to Maryland hospitals and healthcare providers. DHMH works with healthcare providers and local health departments to quickly investigate reports of possible Ebola infections.

Where can I learn more?
For more Ebola information, visit: http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/ and http://dhmh.maryland.gov/ebola.

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