Questions and Answers on Ebola
Information from the CDC: August 1, 2014
There is a current Ebola outbreak which is centered in three countries in West Africa: Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone. Ebola does not pose a significant risk to the U.S. public.
What is Ebola?
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.
How is Ebola transmitted?
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.
Can Ebola be transmitted through the air?
No, Ebola is not a respiratory disease like the flu, so it is not transmitted through the air.
Can I get Ebola from contaminated food or water?
No Ebola is not a food-borne illness. It is not a water-borne illness.
Can I get Ebola from a person who is infected but doesn't have any symptoms?
No. 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.
Are there any cases of individuals contracting Ebola in the U.S.,?
What is being done to prevent ill passengers in West Africa from getting on a plane?
CDC is assisting with active screening and education efforts on the ground in West Africa to prevent sick travelers from getting on planes. In addition, airports in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea are screening all outbound passengers for Ebola symptoms, including fever, and passengers are required to respond to a healthcare questionnaire. CDC is also surging support in the region by deploying 50 additional workers to help build capacity on the ground.
What is CDC doing in the U.S..?
On the remote possibility that an ill passenger enters the U.S.., CDC has protocols in place to protect against further spread on the ground. These include notifications to CDC of ill passengers on a plane before arrival, investigations of ill travelers, and , if necessary, isolation. CDC has also provided guidance to airlines for managing ill passengers and crew and for disinfecting aircraft. CDC has issued a Health Alert Notice reminding U.S.. healthcare workers of the importance of taking steps to prevent the spread of this virus, how to test and isolate suspected patients and how they can protect themselves from infection.
Information for students returning from an Ebola affected area (Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone).
Frostburg State University does not have any study abroad programs in the countries currently affected. However, students who have been in any of the Ebola affected areas within three weeks of returning to school need to monitor themselves for signs of illness as noted below and immediately report any symptoms to Brady Health Center (301-687-4310) so further evaluation can be undertaken without delay.
After your return
Persons returning from an affected area but have not had direct contact with the body fluids of symptomatic infected persons or animals, or objects that have been contaminated with body fluids, should monitor their health for 10 days. Those with a potential exposure should monitor their health for 21 days post exposure. Regardless, any traveler who becomes ill while traveling, even if only a fever, should consult a health-care provider immediately and tell him or her about their recent travel and potential contacts. Tell the provider about your symptoms prior to going to the office or emergency room so arrangements can be made, if necessary, to prevent transmission to others in the health-care setting.
Other Sources of Information:
Ebola Information Page
Ebola Fact Sheet
Previous Health Alerts