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Ebola virus is the cause of a viral hemorrhagic fever disease. Symptoms include: fever, headache, joint and muscle aches, weakness, diarrhea, vomiting, stomach pain, lack of appetite, and abnormal bleeding. Symptoms may appear anywhere from 2 to 21 days after exposure to Ebola virus, though 8-10 days is most common.

Ebola is transmitted through direct contact with the blood or bodily fluids of an infected symptomatic person or through exposure to objects (such as needles) that have been contaminated with infected secretions. Individuals who are not symptomatic are not contagious. In order for the virus to be transmitted, an individual would have to have direct contact with an individual who is experiencing symptoms.Ebola virus is not spread through the air or through contaminated food or water.

In outbreak settings, Ebola virus is typically first spread to humans after contact with infected wildlife and is then spread person-to-person through direct contact with bodily fluids such as, but not limited to, blood, urine, sweat, semen, and breast milk. Patients can transmit the virus while febrile and through later stages of disease, as well as after death, when persons touch the body during funeral preparations.

Current Outbreak Information

The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) is working with the World Health Organization (WHO), the ministries of health of Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone, and other international organizations in response to an outbreak of Ebola virus in West Africa, which was first reported in late March 2014. This is the largest outbreak of Ebola virus disease ever documented and the first recorded in West Africa. For current outbreak information, visit the CDC Ebola website.

What Public Health is Doing To Prepare for Ebola

Long before the first confirmed case of Ebola in the United States was diagnosed in Dallas, Texas, Utah's state and local public health departments and hospitals were preparing for the possibility that the disease could turn up in our state.

While the chances of a large-scale outbreak of Ebola occurring in the United States are very low, the recent patients in Dallas and New York are a reminder that isolated cases are a very real possibility, and being prepared is key to preventing disease and infection control. Read More

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Utah Department of Health
Bureau of Epidemiology
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Salt Lake City, Utah 84114-2104

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