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Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever Information Packet

Public Health – Muskegon County

Ebola Fact Sheet

What is Ebola hemorrhagic fever?

Ebola hemorrhagic fever (Ebola HF) is a severe, often-fatal disease in humans and nonhuman primates (monkeys, gorillas, and chimpanzees).

Where is Ebola virus found

The exact origin, locations, and natural habitat (known as the "natural reservoir") of Ebola virus remain unknown. However, researchers believe that the virus is zoonotic (animal-borne) and is normally maintained in an animal host that is native to the African continent.

Where do cases of Ebola HF occur?

Confirmed cases of Ebola HF have been reported in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Sudan, the Ivory Coast, Uganda, and the Republic of the Congo.
Ebola HF typically appears in sporadic outbreaks, usually spread within a health-care setting. It is likely that sporadic, isolated cases occur as well, but go unrecognized.

How is Ebola virus spread?

Because the natural reservoir of the virus is unknown, the manner in which the virus first appears in a human at the start of an outbreak has not been determined.
However, researchers have hypothesized that the first patient becomes infected through contact with an infected animal.
After the first case-patient in an outbreak setting is infected, the virus can be transmitted in several ways. People can be exposed to Ebola virus from direct contact with the blood and/or secretions of an infected person. People can also be exposed to Ebola virus through contact with objects, such as needles, that have been contaminated with infected secretions.

What are the symptoms of Ebola HF?

The incubation period for Ebola HF ranges from 2 to 21 days. The onset of illness is quick and is characterized by:
 Joint and muscle aches
 Sore throat

Followed by:
 Stomach pain

A rash, red eyes, hiccups and internal and external bleeding may be seen in some patients.

How is Ebola HF treated?

There is no standard treatment for Ebola HF. Patients receive supportive therapy. This consists of balancing the patient’s fluids and electrolytes, maintaining their oxygen status and blood pressure, and treating them for any complicating infections.
How is Ebola HF prevented?
No vaccine is available for Ebola HF. The best prevention is to avoid contact whenever possible with infected animals and people, including contact with the bodies of the deceased.

For more information on Ebola:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
CDC Public Information
English 1-888-246-2675
Espanol 1-888-246-2857
TTY 1-888-874-2646
Public Health – Muskegon County
209 E Apple Ave, Muskegon, MI 49442
Phone: (231) 724-6246