What is Ebola virus disease?
Ebola virus disease is a severe, often fatal illness, with a death rate of up to 90% caused by Ebola virus.
How is Ebola virus Transmitted?
People become infected with Ebola virus mainly through contact with the body fluids of infected humans.Most cases are caused by human to human transmission which occurs when blood or other bodily fluids or secretions (stool, urine, saliva, vomit, semen) of infected people enters a healthy person's body through broken skin or mucous membranes.
Who is most at risk?
During an outbreak, those at higher risk of infection are:
- Health workers;
- Family members or others in close contact with infected people;
- Mourners who have direct contact with bodies during burial rituals.
Can Ebola virus be transmitted sexually?
Sexual transmission of the Ebola virus, from males to females, is a strong possibility, therefore, safe sexual practices should be ensured or abstain all together until the semen has twice tested negative.
What are the typical signs and symptoms of Ebola virus infection?
Ebola symptoms vary but sudden onset of fever, intense weakness, later which may include severe fever, severe headache, muscle pain, weakness, fatigue, diarrhea, vomiting, stomach pain, and unexplained bleeding or bruising.
The Ebola virus may be rare, but it is dangerous to those who become infected.
How long does it take to develop symptoms after being infected?
The incubation period from infection to onset of symptoms, is from 2 to 21 days. People are not contagious until they develop symptoms. Ebola virus disease infections can only be confirmed through laboratory testing.
When should someone seek medical care?
A person with Ebola-like symptoms who has been in contact with living or dead people suspected to have had Ebola or has travelled to an area known to have cases of Ebola virus disease should seek medical care immediately.
Is there any treatment for Ebola?
Supportive care, especially fluid replacement therapy, carefully managed and monitored by trained health workers improves chances of survival.
Can people with Ebola be cared for at home?
No. Families or communities are advised not to care for individuals with symptoms of Ebola virus disease at home. If a person dies at home and is suspected of having died from Ebola virus disease, family and community members should refrain from handling or preparing the body for burial. The local health authorities should be contacted immediately and asked to send a dead body management team.
Can Ebola be prevented?
People can protect themselves from infection with Ebola virus following specific prevention and control measures which include hand washing, avoiding contact with the bodily fluids of individuals who are suspected of or confirmed to have Ebola, and refraining from handling or preparing bodies of persons who are suspected of or confirmed to have died from Ebola.
Is there an Ebola vaccine?
The investigational vaccine being used in DRC and by health and frontline workers in Uganda has so far been effective in protecting people from developing the disease, and has helped those who do develop the disease to have a better chance of survival.