EBOLA VIRUS DISEASE - Cobb & Douglas Public Health

 

About Ebola (Ebola Virus Disease)

Ebola Virus Disease, previously known as Ebola hemorrhagic fever, is a rare and deadly disease caused by infection with one of the Ebola virus species (Zaire, Sudan, Bundibugyo, or Tai Forest virus).

Ebola viruses are found in several African countries. The first Ebola virus was discovered in 1976 near the Ebola River in what is now the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Since then, outbreaks have appeared sporadically in Africa.

For the most current list of affected countries, visit: http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/outbreaks/2014-west-africa/distribution-map.html#areas.

Latest Ebola News from Cobb & Douglas Public Health:

Frequently Asked Questions About Ebola Virus Disease (EVD)

What are the signs and symptoms of Ebola?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), symptoms of Ebola include:

    • Fever (including low-grade)
    • Severe headache
    • Muscle pain
    • Weakness
    • Diarrhea
    • Vomiting
    • Abdominal (stomach) pain
    • Unexplained hemorrhage (bleeding or bruising)

Symptoms may appear anywhere from 2 to 21 days after exposure to Ebola, but the average is 8 to 10 days.

Recovery from Ebola depends on good supportive clinical care and the patient’s immune response. People who recover from Ebola infection develop antibodies that last for at least 10 years.

For more information, visit http://dph.georgia.gov/ebola.

How is Ebola transmitted?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), when an infection does occur in humans, the virus can be spread in several ways to others. Ebola is spread through direct contact (through broken skin or mucous membranes in, for example, the eyes, nose, or mouth) with:

    • blood or body fluids (including but not limited to urine, saliva, sweat, feces, vomit, breast milk, and semen) of a person who is sick with Ebola
    • objects (like needles and syringes) that have been contaminated with the virus
    • infected animals

Ebola is not spread through the air or by water, or in general, by food. However, in Africa, Ebola may be spread as a result of handling bushmeat (wild animals hunted for food) and contact with infected bats.

For more information, visit http://dph.georgia.gov/ebola.

Who can become infected with and transmit Ebola?

Only mammals (for example, humans, bats, monkeys, and apes) have shown the ability to become infected with and spread Ebola virus. There is no evidence that mosquitoes or other insects can transmit Ebola virus. Healthcare providers caring for Ebola patients and the family and friends in close contact with Ebola patients are at the highest risk of getting sick because they may come in contact with the blood or body fluids of sick patients. People also can become sick with Ebola after coming in contact with infected wildlife. For example, in Africa, Ebola may spread as a result of handling bushmeat (wild animals hunted for food) and contact with infected bats.

For more information, visit http://dph.georgia.gov/ebola.

Who is at risk of contracting Ebola?

The most affected countries experiencing the Ebola epidemic in West Africa are Guinea, Liberia, Mali and Sierra Leone. Healthcare providers caring for Ebola patients and the family and friends in close contact with Ebola patients are at the highest risk of getting sick because they may come in contact with infected blood or body fluids of sick patients. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have stated that the Ebola virus disease poses no significant risk to the United States. During outbreaks of Ebola:

  • The disease can spread quickly within healthcare settings (such as a clinic or hospital). Exposure to Ebola can occur in healthcare settings where hospital staff are not wearing appropriate protective equipment, including masks, gowns, and gloves and eye protection
  • Dedicated medical equipment (preferable disposable, when possible) should be used by healthcare personnel providing patient care. Proper cleaning and disposal of instruments, such as needles and syringes, is also important. If instruments are not disposable, they must be sterilized before being used again. Without adequate sterilization of the instruments, virus transmission can continue and amplify an outbreak
  • In Africa, Ebola may spread as a result of handling bushmeat (wild animals hunted for food) and contact with infected bats, as well as spread through poor hygienic conditions where the virus can spread through contact with objects (like clothes, bedding, needles, syringes/sharps or medical equipment) that have been contaminated with the virus or with infected animals

Once someone recovers from Ebola, they can no longer spread the virus. However, Ebola virus has been found in semen for up to 3 months. Abstinence from sex (including oral sex) is recommended for at least 3 months. If abstinence is not possible, condoms may help prevent the spread of disease.

For more information, visit http://dph.georgia.gov/ebola.

What do I do if I suspect a case of Ebola?

Please be aware that the symptoms of fever (including low grade), headache, joint and muscle aches, weakness, fatigue, diarrhea, vomiting, stomach pain and lack of appetite, and in some cases bleeding alone are not indicative of Ebola virus disease (EVD).

Health care providers should be alert for, and evaluate any patient who has had travel during the 21 days before symptom onset from an Ebola-affected area OR had contact with an individual who has Ebola.

AND

Ebola symptoms: fever (including low-grade), headache, weakness, muscle pain, vomiting, loss of appetite, fatigue, diarrhea, abdominal pain or hemorrhage.

If a patient meets this criteria:

  • Isolate patient in single room with a private bathroom and with the door to hallway closed
  • Implement standard, contact, and droplet precautions (gown, facemask, eye protection, and gloves)
  • Notify the hospital Infection Control Program and other appropriate staff
  • Evaluate for any risk exposures for EVD
  • IMMEDIATELY report to the DPH (1-866-PUB-HLTH) or Cobb & Douglas Public Health (770-514-2300) to discuss screening, infection control, laboratory testing and recommended infection control measures.

For more information, visit  http://dph.georgia.gov/ebola.

Specific Public Health services and schedules may vary by location. Call your health center for details.

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Cobb County

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Marietta, Georgia 30008
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Marietta, Georgia 30008
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Douglasville, Georgia 30134
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