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General Information and Symptoms

From the Centers for Disease Control (CDC):

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
  • abnormal bleeding

Symptoms may appear anywhere from two to 21 days after exposure to Ebola virus. Ebola is transmitted through direct contact with the blood or bodily fluids of an infected, symptomatic person or through exposure to objects (such as needles) that have been contaminated with infected secretions.

Ebola is not a respiratory disease like the flu, so it is not transmitted through the air.

Ebola is not a food-borne or water-borne illness.

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.

The CDC recommends that persons who have traveled to West Africa monitor their health after their return. Persons returning from an affected area but have not had direct contact with the body fluids of symptomatic infected persons or animals or objects that have been contaminated with body fluids should monitor their health for ten days. Those with a potential exposure should monitor their health for 21 days post-exposure.

Regardless, any traveler who becomes ill, even if only with a fever, should consult a health care provider immediately by phone before presenting in person so that they may take the proper precautions to minimize exposure to people at the health care facility. Please contact your health care provider if you have any questions or concerns.