Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) is a rare but often deadly disease in humans. It is spread by contact with blood or body fluids of a person infected with Ebola virus. An infected person can only spread Ebola to other people after they develop signs and symptoms of Ebola.
In September of 2022, the government of Uganda reported an outbreak of the Sudan strain of Ebola. This strain differs from the Zaire strain that caused the Ebola outbreak in West Africa in 2014-2016. There is no specific treatment or vaccine for the Sudan strain of Ebola, also known as Sudan Virus Disease (SVD).
Ebola virus is spread by direct contact (such as through broken or cut skin, or contact with the eyes, nose or mouth) with:
- Blood or body fluids of a person infected with Ebola virus. These body fluids include
- Breast milk
- Amniotic fluid (fluid that surrounds an unborn fetus during pregnancy)
- Objects that have been contaminated with body fluids from person infected with Ebola virus. This may include:
- Medical equipment
- Infected animals (fruit bats, apes, and monkeys in places where Ebola is spreading)
- Possibly from semen from a man who recovered from Ebola virus (through oral, vaginal, or anal sex). There is no evidence that Ebola can be spread through sex or other contact with vaginal fluids from a woman who has had Ebola.
Ebola is NOT spread by:
- Casual contact
- Food grown or legally purchased in the US
You can't get infected with Ebola virus if you aren't in direct contact with the blood or body fluids of someone who is sick with Ebola.
- Symptoms include
- Muscle pain
- Stomach pain
- Unexplained bleeding or bruising
- Symptoms can appear from 2-21 days after exposure. After 21 days, if an exposed person does not develop symptoms, they will not become sick with Ebola.
- A person can only spread Ebola to other people after they develop signs and symptoms of Ebola.
If you are living in or traveling to a place where Ebola virus has been reported, you can protect yourself by:
- Avoiding contact with blood and body fluids of people who are sick. These body fluids include:
- feces, saliva
- breast milk
- amniotic fluid (fluid that surrounds an unborn fetus during pregnancy)
- vaginal fluids
- Avoid contact with items that may have come in contact with an infected person’s blood or body fluids. These may include:
- Medical equipment
- Avoid funeral or burial practices that involve touching the body of someone who has died from Ebola or suspect Ebola
- Avoid contact with bats, forest antelopes, and nonhuman primates (such as monkeys and chimpanzees) blood, fluids or raw meat prepared from these or unknown animals (bushmeat)
There is an FDA-approved vaccine to protect against the Zaire strain of Ebola virus. There is no vaccine for other strains, including the Sudan strain.
- Health care advisories
- Outbreak of Ebola Virus Disease in Uganda, Public Health — Seattle & King County
- Outbreak of Ebola virus disease in Central Uganda, CDC Health Alert Network Health Advisory
- For Clinicians: Ebola (Ebola Virus Disease), CDC
- For Clinicians: Infection Prevention and Control, Ebola Virus Disease, CDC
- For Clinicians: Emergency Services, Ebola Virus Disease, CDC
- For Public Health Planners: Guidance on Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), CDC