Ebola Virus Hemorrhagic Fever Fact Sheet

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What is Ebola virus disease?

Ebola virus disease (EVD) is a severe, often fatal, viral disease. Currently, there are EVD outbreaks in several Western African nations, including Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and parts of Nigeria. For the most current information regarding EVD and outbreaks caused by EVD, visit http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/

What are the symptoms of EVD?                                                                             

EVD symptoms always include fever. Other symptoms may include headache, diarrhea, vomiting, weakness, joint and muscle aches, stomach pain, lack of appetite and bleeding. The symptoms can be similar to other, more common, infections. Symptoms appear 2-21 days after exposure to the virus, but most commonly occur 8-10 days after exposure.

How is EVD spread?

Individuals who do not have a fever are not contagious and cannot transmit the disease to another person. The Ebola virus is transmitted through direct contact with the blood or body fluids of an infected person with symptoms or through exposure to objects (such as needles) that have been contaminated with infected body fluids. Transmission can also occur from directly handling bats, rodents or primates in areas where EVD occurs.

Who is at risk for EVD? 

Individuals who have recently been in a country with known EVD, and who also have:
• Contact with blood or other body fluids of a patient or dead body known to have or suspected to have EVD, or
• Direct handling of bats, rodents or primates.
If someone has symptoms of EVD and a possible exposure, that person should see a health care provider.

What is the treatment for EVD?

There is no specific treatment for EVD; treatment is limited to close monitoring and supportive care in a hospital.

What is the risk of EVD in Maryland?

Currently, the risk of acquiring EVD in Maryland is extremely low. As of August 11, 2014, there have been no confirmed cases in Maryland. If a case is identified, there are established infection control guidelines to prevent transmission.

What is the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) doing?

DHMH is monitoring the national and global situation and is in frequent communication with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). DHMH is conducting disease surveillance and regularly communicates with and distributes guidance to Maryland hospitals and health care providers. DHMH works with health care providers and local health departments to quickly investigate reports of possible EVD infections. 

Where can I learn more?

For more EVD information, visit: http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/.