Ebola is a severe, often fatal, viral disease. It is caused by an infection with one of the Ebola virus strains.
Frequently Asked Questions
DOES EBOLA POSE A SIGNIFICANT RISK IN THE UNITED STATES?
Although the risk of the Ebola virus spreading in the US is low, it is possible that additional cases might be identified in persons who had close contact with the Texas patient diagnosed in the US or in other travelers. In response, the CDC issued a Health Advisory Alert on October 2, 2014 to highlight the recommendations for healthcare personnel and health officials when evaluating patients for Ebola infection.
To date, no cases have been identified in Virginia. Local and state health departments will continue to respond to inquiries from medical providers.
HOW IS EBOLA SPREAD FROM PERSON TO PERSON?
The virus is spread by contact with an infected patient's blood or bodily fluids, including saliva, urine, sweat, feces, vomit, breast milk or semen. It can be spread through contact with clothing/linens contaminated with bodily fluids, contact with some animals (e.g. certain bats in Africa), and used objects like needles or syringes that have been contaminated with the virus.
- The Ebola virus spreads from person to person only when someone is exhibiting symptoms
- Individuals that do not have a fever are not contagious and cannot transmit the virus to another person
- Transmission occurs through direct contact with an infected person's bodily fluids
WHAT ARE THE SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF EBOLA?
- Fever over 101.5 degrees Fahrenheit
- Stomach Pains
- Lack of Appetite
- Severe Headache
- Red Eyes
- Joint and Muscle Aches
- Skin Rash
- Unexplained bleeding and bruising
HOW DO I PROTECT MYSELF?
- Wash your hands often with soap and water
- Use alcohol-based hand rub on your hands if soap and water are not available
- Try to avoid close contact with sick people
- If you or your child is sick, limit contact by staying at home to keep from infecting others
Students Studying Abroad
For advice for students studying abroad, foreign exchange students, or other education-related travel, please refer to the Traveler's Health information from the CDC.