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is a life-threatening disease caused by a virus. Ebola was first diagnosed in West Africa. People from other countries have also been diagnosed with Ebola.
Ebola is spread
through a break in your skin or mucus membranes in your eyes, nose, or mouth. A person with Ebola must have symptoms to be contagious (able to spread the virus). Ebola is not spread through air, water, or food. You may get the virus through direct contact with any of the following:
- A sick person's blood or body fluids, such as urine, saliva, sweat, bowel movement, vomit, semen, or breast milk
- Items that have been contaminated with the virus, such as clothes, linens, needles, and syringes
Symptoms of Ebola
may appear 2 to 21 days after you are exposed to someone who has symptoms of Ebola. Contact your healthcare provider immediately if you have been in contact with someone who has Ebola and you have the following:
- A sudden fever higher than 100.4°F along with any of the following:
- Severe headache
- Muscle pain and weakness
- Abdominal pain
- Bleeding or bruising that cannot be explained
Contact your healthcare provider or local health department if:
You have been in contact with someone who has Ebola. You may need to be placed in quarantine.
Protect yourself from Ebola:
No treatment or vaccine has been approved for use. Protect yourself from Ebola by doing the following:
- Practice safe sex. Always use a latex condom. An infected man's semen will need to be tested for the Ebola virus. He must have 2 negative tests before he can have sex without a condom. Handle used condoms carefully so the semen does not touch anyone. Throw the used condom away. Make sure no one will accidentally touch it after it is in the trash.
- Wash your hands often. Wash your hands several times each day. Wash after you use the bathroom, change a child's diaper, and before you prepare or eat food. Use soap and water every time. Rub your soapy hands together, lacing your fingers. Wash the front and back of your hands, and in between your fingers. Use the fingers of one hand to scrub under the fingernails of the other hand. Wash for at least 20 seconds. Rinse with warm, running water for several seconds. Then dry your hands with a clean towel or paper towel. Use hand sanitizer that contains alcohol if soap and water are not available. Do not touch your eyes, nose, or mouth without washing your hands first.
- Do not touch blood or body fluids of people who are sick. Fluids include urine, bowel movements, saliva, vomit, semen, and sweat.
- Do not handle items that may have touched a sick person's blood or body fluids. This includes clothes, linens, needles, and syringes.
- Do not touch the body of someone who has died from Ebola.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.
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