UT University Health Services

Facts About Ebola

Ebola Advisory

In 2014, some countries in West Africa experienced a dramatic increase in the number of Ebola cases. Because these countries no longer have widespread transmission of Ebola, no travel advisories are currently in effect.

Although this virus is very rare in the United States, and the last case in the U.S. was diagnosed on October 23, 2014 during the 2014 outbreak in West Africa, it is important to know the facts, so you can protect yourself if you ever have the need.

What is Ebola and how is it spread?

Ebola is spread through direct contact with bodily fluids (blood, vomit, pee, poop, sweat, semen, spit, or other fluids) of an infected, symptomatic person or though exposure to objects (such as needles) that have been contaminated with infected blood or bodily fluids. The virus can also be transmitted by infected animals, such as fruit bats or primates. Ebola can only be spread to others after symptoms appear. In most cases, symptoms appear 2 to 21 days following exposure.

What are the symptoms of Ebola?

Symptoms include the sudden onset of fever, weakness, muscle pain, headache and sore throat, followed by vomiting, diarrhea, rash, and in some cases, bleeding from the eyes, ears, nose, mouth, or rectum.

What can I do to protect myself?

If you are ever in a situation where Ebola transmission is a risk:

  • Practice careful hygiene, such as washing your hands frequently with soap and water. This will prevent many other illnesses, including colds and flu, as well.
  • Stay away from anyone you expect might be infected with Ebola.
  • Avoid all contact with blood and body fluids of infected people (including corpses of those who have died or animals).
  • Do not handle items that may have come in contact with an infected person’s blood or body fluids.
  • Avoid contact with semen from a man who has had Ebola until you know Ebola is gone from his semen.
  • If you lived in or visited an area where Ebola cases have been recently reported, seek medical attention if you develop any of the symptoms listed above. If you are unsure of your symptoms or have questions about any illness or injury, call the UHS Nurse Advice Line at 512-475-6877.

What to do if you are ill or injured:

University Health Services offers a free Nurse Advice Line for students 24 hours a day, every day of the year. You can call for advice on how to care for an illness or injury at home or guidance about whether and how soon to see a healthcare provider. The phone number for the UHS UHS Nurse Advice Line at 512-475-6877.

For additional information about Ebola and updates about the disease, go to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Ebola page.

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