Ebola Fact Sheet

Quick Facts

What is Ebola?

 

Ebola virus is the cause of a viral hemorrhagic fever disease. Symptoms include: fever, headache, joint and muscle aches, weakness, diarrhea, vomiting, stomach pain, lack of appetite, and abnormal bleeding. Symptoms may appear anywhere from 2 to 21 days after exposure to ebolavirus though 4-9 days is most common.

 

Ebola Progression

 

How is Ebola transmitted?

 

Ebola is transmitted through direct contact with the blood or bodily fluids of an infected symptomatic person or though exposure to objects (such as needles) that have been contaminated with infected secretions.

 

Can Ebola be transmitted through the air?

 

No. Ebola is not a respiratory disease like the flu, so it is not transmitted through the air.

 

Can I get Ebola from a person who is infected but doesn't have any symptoms?

 

No. Individuals who are not symptomatic are not contagious. In order for the virus to be transmitted, an individual would have to have direct contact with an individual who is experiencing symptoms.

Ebola Symptoms

 

Have there been any cases of individuals contracting Ebola outside Africa?

 

Yes. One healthcare worker in Spain and two healthcare workers in the United States have tested positive for the virus after caring for infected individuals who had repatriated from West Africa.

 

 

What is the long term outlook?

 

Because this outbreak is so geographically large, it may become a regional public health crisis, as isolation efforts are not supported by local populations and population density is high. Once the situation stabilises, normalisation could still take up to six months according to the United States Overseas Council. The outbreak could have a lasting effect of food security in the region. Many farmers are afraid to work their fields, and many markets have closed. Wild fruits, which many locals consume, may be contaminated by infected fruit bats. Unregulated burials of victims could contaminate both soil and water systems.