Ebola – information from the CDC

Ebola is a viral disease that is spread through contact with bodily fluids (i.e. pee, poop, vomit, blood) on the mucus membranes (eyes, mouth, nose). A person with symptoms of Ebola must have had contact with a person with known Ebola or travel to an area with active Ebola in the last 21 days.

Symptoms of Ebola include fever greater than 101.5 degrees Fahrenheit, and additional symptoms such as severe headache, muscle pain, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, or unexplained bleeding.

The risk of getting Ebola in the United States is very low. That risk is increased if you travel to areas in West Africa where Ebola is being transmitted. Even then risk is divided into high and low risk by the CDC as follows:

A high risk exposure includes any of the following:
•Percutaneous (e.g., needle stick) or mucous membrane exposure to blood or body fluids of EVD patient
•Direct skin contact with, or exposure to blood or body fluids of, an EVD patient without appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE)
•Processing blood or body fluids of a confirmed EVD patient without appropriate PPE or standard biosafety precautions
•Direct contact with a dead body without appropriate PPE in a country where an EVD outbreak is occurring.

Low risk exposures

A low risk exposure includes any of the following
•Household contact with an EVD patient
•Other close contact with EVD patients in health care facilities or community settings. Close contact is defined as a.being within approximately 3 feet (1 meter) of an EVD patient or within the patient’s room or care area for a prolonged period of time (e.g., health care personnel, household members) while not wearing recommended personal protective equipment (i.e., standard, droplet, and contact precautions; see Infection Prevention and Control Recommendations)
•Having direct brief contact (e.g., shaking hands) with an EVD patient while not wearing recommended personal protective equipment.

Here is the link to the CDC site for more information.

http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/index.html