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What is Ebola?
Ebola is a severe, often fatal infectious disease that can occur in humans.

How is Ebola spread?
Ebola is spread through direct contact with the blood or body fluids of an infected person with symptoms. It is also spread through exposure to contaminated objects (such as used needles). Ebola is not transmitted through the air, food or water. It can also spread when people have direct contact with dead bodies of people who died from Ebola.

How do people get Ebola?
Ebola spreads from person to person, but you can only get Ebola through unprotected, direct contact with the blood or body fluids of an infected person with symptoms or a person who has died from Ebola. You can also get Ebola from unprotected direct contact with objects (such as used needles) that have been in contact with the body fluids of someone sick with Ebola. During outbreaks of Ebola, those at highest risk include health care workers and the family and friends of an infected person.

What are the symptoms of Ebola?
Symptoms of Ebola include:

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Stomach pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Joint and muscle aches
  • Weakness
  • Vomiting

Some people may also have:

  • Rash
  • Red eyes
  • Sore throat
  • Cough
  • Hiccups
  • Chest pain
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Bleeding inside and outside the body

Symptoms can start anywhere from 2 to 21 days after exposure to the virus, but 8-10 days is most common. If symptoms start later than 21 days after exposure, the patient likely does not have Ebola.

Can I get Ebola from a person who is infected but doesn’t have symptoms?
No. People who do not have symptoms are not contagious.

How is Ebola diagnosed?
If a person has early symptoms of Ebola and there is reason to believe Ebola should be considered, the patient should be isolated at a hospital, and the Shelby County Health Department should be notified.

What is the treatment for people with Ebola?
People with Ebola will receive medical care such as fluids, oxygen, blood transfusions and any other medicines as needed. Early identification and treatment is best.

For more information go to www.cdc.gov or contact the Shelby County Health Department on Facebook and Twitter.