Ebola Information for SSU

Ebola Virus Infection

Ebola is a rare but deadly virus. Symptoms usually start two days to three weeks after contacting the virus.

 Could There Be an Outbreak in the U.S.?

Although movies and books describe major outbreaks of Ebola-like disease in the U.S., they're just fiction. So far serious Ebola cases have only shown up in Central and West Africa.

The CDC says there’s no significant risk of Ebola in the United States.  It has strong safety measures in place for people who have Ebola and are brought to the U.S. for treatment.

Ebola can spread from country to country when people travel. So it is possible for it to reach the U.S. if an infected person travels here. But there are ways to prevent people from coming to U.S. airports with the disease.

Airline crews are trained to spot the symptoms of Ebola in passengers flying from places where the virus is found. Crews are told to quarantine anyone who looks infected.

How Do You Get Ebola?

Ebola isn’t as contagious as more common viruses like colds, influenza, or measles. It spreads to people by contact with the skin or bodily fluids (blood, semen, sweat, etc), or touching contaminated needles or surfaces.

You can’t get Ebola from air, water, or food. A person who has Ebola but has no symptoms can’t spread the disease, either. Once the infected person has symptoms they will be considered contagious.

What Are the Symptoms of Ebola?

Early on, Ebola can feel like the flu or other illnesses. Symptoms show up 2 to 21 days after exposure/contact from an infected person or animal and usually include:

  • High fever Greater than 101.5
  • Headache
  • Joint and muscle aches
  • Sore throat
  • Weakness
  • Stomach pain
  • Lack of appetite

As the disease gets worse, it causes bleeding inside the body, as well as from the eyes, ears, and nose.  Some people will vomit or cough up blood, have bloody diarrhea, and get a rash.

Do not report to work or school if you develop any of the symptoms listed above. Please contact your Primary Care Physician, Urgent Care or go to the Shawnee State University Health Clinic.

How Is Ebola Diagnosed?

Sometimes it's hard to tell if a person has Ebola from the symptoms alone. Doctors may test to rule out other diseases like cholera, malaria, and other flu-like-symptom diseases.

One of the most important ways to differentiate EBOLA from other diseases is to ask the person if they have traveled out of the U.S. or been in contact with someone who traveled out of the U.S. within the last 21 days – especially travel to West Africa (Liberia, Guinea, Sierra Leone, or Nigeria). 

Tests of blood and tissues also can diagnose Ebola.

If you have Ebola, you’ll be isolated from the public immediately to prevent the spread.

To obtain further information on Ebola, visit the CDC's webpage by following the link.