Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever
Pronounced: ee-BOWL-uh him-er-AH-gic FEE-verEn Español (Spanish Version)
Ebola hemorrhagic fever is a severe, often fatal viral disease that occurs in humans and animals.
Ebola hemorrhagic fever is caused by the Ebola virus. Humans can get the virus through contact with infected animals, humans, or needles.
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The following factors increase your chances of developing Ebola hemorrhagic fever. If you have any of these risk factors, tell your doctor:
- Travel to an area where an outbreak has occurred (almost all cases of Ebola hemorrhagic fever have occurred in Africa; no cases have ever been reported in the United States.)
- Exposure to healthcare settings in which a person with Ebola hemorrhagic fever has been treated
- Contact with another person who has Ebola hemorrhagic fever
If you experience any of these symptoms do not assume it is due to Ebola hemorrhagic fever. These symptoms may be caused by other, less serious health conditions. If you experience any one of them, see your physician.
- Joint and muscle aches
- Sore throat
- Stomach pain
- Red eyes
- Internal and external bleeding
Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history, and perform a physical exam. If you have symptoms of Ebola hemorrhagic fever and if you may have been exposed to the virus, your doctor will notify the local health department and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). You will be isolated to prevent the spread of the disease.
Tests may include the following:
- Blood tests to identify the virus
- Blood tests to identify antibodies for the virus
There is no cure for Ebola hemorrhagic virus. Your treatment will include therapy for symptoms you are experiencing, which may include intravenous management of your fluids and electrolytes, oxygen and blood pressure support, and treatment for any complicating infections.
To help reduce your chances of getting Ebola hemorrhagic fever, take the following steps:
- Avoid traveling to an area that is experiencing an outbreak.
- If you are a healthcare worker, wear protective clothing, such as masks, gloves, gowns, and goggles, and avoid reusing needles.
- Avoid contact with anyone who may have been exposed to the Ebola virus.
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 September 25, 2006.
Last reviewed February 2008 by David Horn, MD
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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