San Antonio Office of Emergency Management

Published on Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Ebola Facts

Facts about Ebola in the U.S.

Ebola Facts from The Centers For Disease Prevention

The likelihood of contacting Ebola is extremely low unless a person has direct unprotected contact with the blood or bodily fluids (like urine, saliva, feces, vomit, sweat, and semen) of a person who is sick with Ebola or direct handling of bats, rodents, or nonhuman primates from areas with Ebola outbreaks.

The symptoms of Ebola include fever (greater than 38.6* C or 101.5*F), severe headache, muscle pain, weakness, diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal (stomach) pain, unexpected hemorrhage (bleeding or bruising). Symptoms may appear anywhere from 2 to 21 days after exposure to Ebola, but the average is 8 to 10 days.

Ebola is only considered “moderately” contagious. Most people who have become infected with Ebola lived with or cared for an ill patient. You are not infectious unless you have symptoms.  Once someone recovers from Ebola, they can no longer spread the virus.

Persons who feel they have been exposed to Ebola should self-isolate and avoid contact with other individuals. Medical attention should be sought immediately.

Medical infrastructures in the United States are better equipped to handle Ebola cases, unlike the conditions currently being experienced in West Africa.  Wide spread infection is not likely to occur due to the advanced medical capabilities of the United States.

In the rare event that a person infected with the Ebola virus was unknowingly transported by air, the WHO advises that the risks to other passengers are low because of the close contact with body fluids required for infection.

Medications to treat the virus are experimental. Right now, the best treatment for Ebola is supportive care, including fluids, oxygen, and rest and keeping blood pressure steady. There’s no vaccine to prevent Ebola.

Chlorine disinfection, heat, direct sunlight, soaps and detergents can kill the Ebola virus.

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