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Ebola Virus Disease

Disease Information

Ebola Virus Disease is caused by the Ebola virus and is one of a number of hemorrhagic fever diseases. Ebola causes severe illness. In past outbreaks, 2590 percent of those infected die. However, recent advances in health care have reduced risk of death from Ebola. The virus was first discovered in 1976 in what is now the Democratic Republic of Congo near the Ebola River.

Ebola symptoms include fever, headache, muscle pain, weakness, diarrhea, vomiting, stomach pain and unexplained bleeding or bruising. Symptoms may appear anywhere from 2 to 21 days after exposure to Ebola, but the average is 8 to 10 days.

Ebola is spread through direct contact with blood or body fluids of a person who is sick with or has died from Ebola, or from objects contaminated with the virus (needles, medical equipment). Ebola is not spread through the air, by water or by food grown or legally purchased in the U.S. Ebola can only be spread to others after symptoms begin.

Health care providers caring for Ebola patients and family and friends in close contact with an ill person are at highest risk because they may come into contact with blood or body fluids.

2021 Ebola Outbreaks in Guinea and Democratic Republic of Congo

There are currently outbreaks of Ebola in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo near the Ugandan border and the southern part of Guinea near the Liberian border. Both are limited to small areas of each country and are not affecting large cities. Periodic updates on these outbreaks and information about past ones are available on the CDC website.  

2014 Ebola Outbreak

The 2014 Ebola epidemic in West Africa was the largest in history, affecting multiple countries in West Africa. An estimated 28,652 cases and 11,325 deaths were reported in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierre Leone.

Disease Reporting

What is required?

Health Care Providers and Clinical Laboratories

Health care providers and clinical laboratories are required by law to report cases and suspect cases of Ebola to local health departments immediately, day or night. If you cannot reach the local health department, call 971-673-1111 to reach the state epidemiologist.

For Local Health Departments

Local health departments are required by law to report cases and suspect cases of Ebola to the state health department immediately, day or night. Call 971-673-1111 to reach the state epidemiologist on call. 

Public Health Resource Links 

See Also

CDC Resources

Additional Resources

CDC Factsheet 

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