Pronounced: ee-BOWL-uh him-er-AH-gic FEE-ver
Ebola hemorrhagic fever is a severe infection. It can have a mortality rate of up to 90%. The infection can occur in humans and animals.
Ebola hemorrhagic fever is caused by the Ebola virus. The virus can pass from person to person through blood or other bodily secretions. When these fluids come in contact with skin or mucus membranes the virus can pass and cause the infection. The virus can also pass through contaminated needles.
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Travel to areas with known Ebola outbreaks increase your risk of Ebola hemorrhagic fever. Almost all cases have occurred in sub-Saharan Africa. No cases have been reported in the US.
Your chance of Ebola hemmorhagic fever also increases with:
Symptoms of Ebola may include:
If you have any of these do not assume it is due to Ebola. These symptoms may be caused by other, less serious health conditions.
Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done. If you may have been exposed to the virus and have symptoms and to the virus, your doctor will notify health officials. This will include the local health department and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
To confirm the presence of the virus your doctor may order blood tests. These tests will help identify the virus itself and antibodies to the virus. Antibodies are signs that your body has identified and is fighting the virus.
There is no cure. You will be isolated to prevent the spread of the disease.
Treatment is focused on supporting you while your body fights the infection. Treatment may include:
To help reduce your chance of getting Ebola hemorrhagic fever, take the following steps:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
World Health Organization
Public Health Agency of Canada
Ebola hemorrhagic fever. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvrd/spb/mnpages/dispages/ebola.htm. Accessed May 17, 2013.
Ebola hemorrhagic fever. World Health Organization (WHO) website. Available at: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs103/en/. Updated August 2012. Accessed May 17, 2013.
Questions and answers about Ebola hemorrhagic fever. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvrd/spb/mnpages/dispages/ebola/qa.htm. Updated July 17, 2009. Accessed May 17, 2013.
Last reviewed May 2014 by David L. Horn, MD, FACP
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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