Ebola Virus Disease
Pronounced: ee-BOWL-uh Vi-russ Dizz-ez
by Krisha McCoy, MS
Ebola is a serious viral infection that needs immediate care. The infection is in both humans and animals.
Ebolaviruses cause the disease. The viruses pass between people through direct contact with:
The viruses enter the body though breaks in the skin or mucous membranes.
Your risk of Ebola is higher if you live in or travel to sub-Saharan Africa. Almost all cases have occurred in this part of the world.
Risk is also higher for those:
Common Ebola symptoms:
Your doctor will ask about your symptoms, and health and travel history. Your doctor may suspect Ebola based on your symptoms and a physical exam. Blood tests can confirm it.
Your doctor will contact local and state health departments, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
You will be isolated to keep the disease from spreading to other people. There are no medicines to treat the disease. The healthcare team will support your care while your body fights the infection. Care involves:
Survivors may have lingering symptoms known as post-Ebola virus syndrome. Examples include:
To help lower your chances of Ebola:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
World Health Organization
Public Health Agency of Canada
Ebola virus disease. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola. Updated June 13, 2017. Accessed May 15, 2018.
Ebola virus disease. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T114821/Ebola-virus-disease . Updated May 10, 2018. Accessed May 15, 2018.
Ebola virus disease. World Health Organization (WHO) website. Available at:
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Updated February 12, 2018. Accessed May 15, 2018.
3/28/2016 DynaMed Plus Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T114821/Ebola-virus-disease : Scott JT, Sesay FR, Massaquoi TA, Idriss BR, Sahr F, Semple MG. Post-ebola syndrome, Sierra Leone. Emerg Infect Dis. 2016;22(4):641-646.
Last reviewed May 2018 by David L. Horn, MD, FACP
Last Updated: 5/15/2018
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