1020 Washington St N       Twin Falls ID 83301-3156       (208) 737-5900       Toll Free: (866) 710-9775

Login or Register for the Idaho Health Alert Network

Region 5 Public Information Hotline 866-450-3594

Ebola: Information for U.S. Healthcare Workers and Settings

Mobile Website Preview

Printer Friendly    Provide Feedback

Disease Name: Ebola Virus Disease


Quick Links

Please review the Idaho Reportable Disease Rules (IDAPA 16.02.10) for the most up-to-date information.

Ebola (Ebola Virus Disease)- http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/index.html


Overview / Case Definition

Ebola virus disease (EVD) is a rare and deadly viral illness that is reportable to the National Notifiable Disease Surveillance System (NNDSS) in all U.S. states and territories. Early recognition of EVD is critical for infection control. Health-care providers should be alert for and evaluate any patients suspected of having EVD.

Ebola can cause disease in humans and nonhuman primates (monkeys, gorillas, and chimpanzees). Ebola is caused by infection with a virus of the family Filoviridae, genus Ebolavirus. There are five identified Ebola virus species, four of which are known to cause disease in humans: Ebola virus (Zaire ebolavirus); Sudan virus (Sudan ebolavirus); Taï Forest virus (Taï Forest ebolavirus, formerly Côte d’Ivoire ebolavirus); and Bundibugyo virus (Bundibugyo ebolavirus). The fifth, Reston virus (Reston ebolavirus), has caused disease in nonhuman primates, but not in humans. Ebola viruses are found in several African countries. Ebola was first 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. The natural reservoir host of Ebola virus remains unknown. However, on the basis of evidence and the nature of similar viruses, researchers believe that the virus is animal-borne and that bats are the most likely reservoir. Four of the five virus strains occur in an animal host native to Africa. People get Ebola 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 or has died from Ebola, objects (like needles and syringes) that have been contaminated with body fluids from a person who is sick with Ebola or the body of a person who has died from Ebola, infected fruit bats or primates (apes and monkeys), and possibly from contact with semen from a man who has recovered from Ebola (for example, by having oral, vaginal, or anal sex)

Diagnosing Ebola in a person who has been infected for only a few days is difficult because the early symptoms, such as fever, are nonspecific to Ebola infection and often are seen in patients with more common diseases, such as malaria and typhoid fever.

However, a person should be isolated and public health authorities notified if they have the early symptoms of Ebola and have had contact with blood or body fluids from a person sick with or who has died from Ebola, objects that have been contaminated with the blood or body fluids of a person sick with or who has died from Ebola, infected fruit bats and primates (apes and monkeys), or semen from a man who has recovered from Ebola. Samples from the patient can then be collected and tested to confirm infection.


Restrictions


Reporting

Immediately

Reportable by Healthcare and Labs:

Reportable by Food Service Facility:

Suspect Reportable:

Reporting Timeframe: Immediately



Diagnosis / Testing

Ebola virus is detected in blood only after onset of symptoms, most notably fever, which accompany the rise in circulating virus within the patient's body. It may take up to three days after symptoms start for the virus to reach detectable levels. Laboratory tests used in diagnosis include:

Timeline of Infection

Diagnostic tests available

Within a few days after symptoms begin

  • Antigen-capture enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) testing
  • IgM ELISA
  • Polymerase chain reaction (PCR)
  • Virus isolation

Later in disease course or after recovery

  • IgM and IgG antibodies

Retrospectively in deceased patients

  • Immunohistochemistry testing
  • PCR
  • Virus isolation


Treatment

No FDA-approved vaccine or medicine (e.g., antiviral drug) is available for Ebola.

Symptoms of Ebola and complications are treated as they appear. The following basic interventions, when used early, can significantly improve the chances of survival: Providing intravenous fluids (IV) and balancing electrolytes (body salts). Maintaining oxygen status and blood pressure. Treating other infections if they occur.

Experimental vaccines and treatments for Ebola are under development, but they have not yet been fully tested for safety or effectiveness. Recovery from Ebola depends on good supportive care and the patient’s immune response. People who recover from Ebola infection develop antibodies that last for at least 10 years, possibly longer. It is not known if people who recover are immune for life or if they can become infected with a different species of Ebola. Some people who have recovered from Ebola have developed long-term complications, such as joint and vision problems. 

Even after recovery, Ebola might be found in some body fluids, including semen. The time it takes for Ebola to leave the semen is different for each man. For some men who survived Ebola, the virus left their semen in three months. For other men, the virus did not leave their semen for more than nine months. Based on the results from limited studies conducted to date, it appears that the amount of virus decreases over time and eventually leaves the semen.


Additional Information

Ebola (Ebola Virus Disease)- http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/index.html


Click to Call South Central Public Health District

Click to Call the Idaho State Epidemiologist

Click to Call Idaho State Communications