Ebola Updates

Ebola virus disease (EVD) is not spread through casual contact, but rather it is spread through direct contact with the blood or bodily fluids of an infected person or animal. The risk for an outbreak in Canada remains very low. Avoid all nonessential travel to Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone.

OVERVIEW

  1. Signs & Symptoms
  2. Transmission & Risk
  3. Prevention
  4. Diagnosis & Treatment
  5. Travel Alerts

ebola

SIGNS & SYMPTOMS

  • Fever
  • Muscle pain and weakness
  • Sever headaches
  • Diarrhea & vomiting
  • Pharyngitis
  • Stomach pain
  • Hemorrhage (late stages)

The incubation period (the time between exposure and when symptoms appear) lasts between two to 21 days  eight to ten days on average.

TRANSMISSION & RISK

A person must have symptoms to spread Ebola to others. People with Ebola during the incubation period (the time between exposure and when symptoms begin) are not contagious. The incubation period lasts between two to 21 days. Ebola infection is spread through blood and bodily fluids of an infected person, and through direct contact with contaminated objects and equipment.

Again, Ebola is not spread through casual contact so the risk for an outbreak in Canada remains very low. Despite the low risk, provinces/territories and the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) continue preparations to deal with such an event. Travellers are at low risk. High risk individuals are health care workers and relatives of cases. There are no confirmed cases of Ebola in Canada

PREVENTION

  • Wash hands or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid contact with blood and bodily fluids of another person, especially if they are sick (this includes medical equipment).
  • Avoid bats and non-human primates.
  • Avoid hospitals in West Africa where Ebola patients are being treated.
  • Seek medical care immediately if you are traveling and develop a fever and/or other unusual symptoms.

DIAGNOSIS & TREATMENT

Blood samples from patients are tested to diagnose Ebola. Ebola, in its late stages, can be fatal as the haemorrhagic fevers can lead to significant internal bleeding and organ failure. However, recovery from Ebola is possible with early treatment and supportive clinical care (balancing fluids, treating infection, and maintaining vital signs). Those who recover from Ebola infection develop antibodies that last for at least 10 years. Drugs and vaccines are being evaluated, but are not yet approved.

TRAVEL ALERTS

  • Avoid all nonessential travel to Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone.
Anthony England (@EbolaPhone)

Updated: November 10, 2014