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Ebola Virus Disease

Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) is a viral hemorrhagic fever (VHF) caused by the Ebola Virus, in the family Filoviridae. EVD is a zoonosis, with outbreaks among human populations occurring following a spillover event from an animal host. The virus can spread person-to-person through direct contact with blood or bodily fluids of a person who is sick with or has died from EVD.

Healthcare personnel can be exposed to Ebola virus by touching a patient’s body fluids, contaminated medical supplies and equipment, or contaminated environmental surfaces. Employment of a combination of infection prevention measures, including but not limited to the effective use of personal protective equipment (PPE), can help prevent the transmission of EVD in healthcare settings. Any suspected case(s) of EVD should be promptly reported to public health.

Patients sick with EVD may develop symptoms anywhere from 2 to 21 days after contact with the virus, with an average of 8 to 10 days. The course of the illness typically progresses from “dry” symptoms initially (such as fever, aches and pains, and fatigue), and then progresses to “wet” symptoms (such as diarrhea and vomiting) as the person becomes sicker.

EVD is a rare but severe and often deadly disease. Recovery from EVD depends on good supportive clinical care and the patient’s immune response.

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Key resources for preventing and responding to Ebola Virus Disease in healthcare settings include:

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Disclaimer: The positions and views expressed in these materials do not necessarily represent the official positions of CORHA’s member organizations.