Ebola Virus


Ebola is a rare and deadly disease. It is spread by direct contact (through broken skin or mucous membranes) with a sick or a deceased person’s blood or body fluids (urine, saliva, feces, vomit, and semen). It is also spread by direct contact with objects (such as needles) that have been contaminated with infected body fluids.

People also can become sick with Ebola if they come into contact with infected wildlife or raw or undercooked meat (bushmeat) from an infected animal. Health care workers and the family and friends in close contact with Ebola patients are at risk of getting sick because they may come in contact with infected blood or body fluids.

There is no vaccine or specific treatment for Ebola, and many people who get the disease die. Therefore, it is important to take steps to prevent Ebola.

  • Avoid nonessential travel to Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone. Practice enhanced precautions in Nigeria and in Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • If you must travel, please make sure to do the following:
    • Practice careful hygiene. Avoid contact with blood and body fluids of people who are sick with Ebola.
    • Do not handle items that may have come in contact with an infected person’s blood or body fluids.
    • Avoid funeral or burial rituals that require handling the body of someone who has died from Ebola.
    • Avoid contact with wild animals and with raw or undercooked meat (bushmeat).
    • Avoid hospitals where Ebola patients are being treated.
Include fever, severe headache, muscle pain, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain, and unexplained bleeding or bruising.

If you were exposed to Ebola during your trip, call your doctor even if you do not have symptoms. Your doctor should evaluate your exposure level and symptoms if you have them and consult with public health authorities to determine whether actions, such as medical evaluation and testing for Ebola, monitoring, or travel restrictions are needed.

Pay attention to your health after your return from your trip, even if you were not ex- posed to Ebola during your trip.

  • Monitor your health for 21 days if you were in an area with an Ebola outbreak
  • Take your temperature every morning and evening.
  • If your temperature is above 101.5°F (38.6°C) and you have any other Ebola symptoms, seek medical care immediately and stay apart from other people.
  • Tell the doctor about your recent travel and your symptoms before you go to the doctor’s office or hospital. Advance notice will help the doctor care for you and protect other people who may be in the doctor’s office or hospital.
  • Limit your contact with other people when you travel to the doctor; avoid public transportation.
  • Do not travel anywhere except to the doctor’s office or hospital.
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