Ebola virus disease (EVD) – Africa
Since February this year, 1323 cases and 729 deaths from Ebola virus disease (EVD) have been reported from Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. Fruit bats are the natural hosts of this virus. It enters the human population through the consumption of contaminated bats or primates. Once infected, humans transmit this virus to each other through blood or body fluids, including sweat. Travellers are at low risk. High risk individuals are health care workers and relatives of cases.
As of July 31. 2014, the US CDC recommends avoiding all non-essential travel to Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. Travellers returning from these affected countries should report any illness in 21 days after return.
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.
- Muscle pain and weakness
- Sever headaches
- Diarrhea & vomiting
- 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.
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
- 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.
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.
- Avoid all nonessential travel to Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone.
Updated: November 10, 2014