The current Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) outbreak is centered Uganda, although there is the potential for further spread to neighboring African countries. Ebola does not pose a significant risk to the U.S. public. There are no known cases of Ebola in the Austin/Travis County area.
Questions and Answers on Ebola
The current Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) outbreak is centered in a single district within Uganda, although there could potential for further spread to neighboring African countries. Ebola does not pose a significant risk to the U.S. public. There are no known cases of Ebola in the Austin/Travis County area.
What is Ebola?
Ebola is a viral hemorrhagic fever disease. Symptoms of Ebola may include fever, severe headache, muscle pain, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain, or unexplained bleeding or bruising. Symptoms may appear anywhere from 2 to 21 days after exposure to Ebola, although 8-10 days is most common.
How is Ebola transmitted?
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
- There is no evidence that mosquitos or other insects can transmit Ebola virus.
Can I get Ebola from a person who is infected but doesn’t have any symptoms?
No. A person infected with Ebola is not contagious until symptoms appear.
What is being done to prevent ill passengers in Uganda from getting on a plane?
Airports in Uganda, in cooperation with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), are screening outbound travelers for Ebola symptoms, including fever, and passengers are required to respond to a health questionnaire. The CDC is also currently providing screening of incoming passengers at six major US airports: JFK, Newark, LAX, Atlanta, Chicago, Washington Dulles.
What is the CDC doing in the United States to help prevent the spread of Ebola?
In the event that an ill traveler arrives in the U.S., the CDC has protocols in place to protect against further spread of disease. These include notification to the CDC of ill travelers on a plane before arrival, evaluation of ill travelers, isolation, and transport to a medical facility if needed. The CDC, along with Customs & Border Patrol, has also provided guidance to airlines for managing ill passengers and crew and for disinfecting aircrafts. The CDC has issued a Health Alert Notice reminding U.S. healthcare workers of the importance of taking steps to prevent the spread of this virus, how to test and isolate suspected patients, and how they can protect themselves from infection.
What is the Austin/Travis County Health & Human Services Department doing?
The Austin/Travis County Health & Human Services Department (A/TCHHSD) is working closely with the CDC, Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS), EMS, and hospitals to monitor the current situation in Texas and nationally and to ensure that all public health and healthcare sectors are prepared to respond in the event that a person is diagnosed with Ebola in our area.
What does the CDC’s Travel Alert Level 2 mean to U.S. travelers?
The CDC recommends that travelers:
- Should avoid contact with sick people and avoid contact with blood or body fluids from all people.
- Should avoid contact with dead bodies, including participating in funeral or burial rituals.
- Should isolate immediately and seek medical care if they develop signs and symptoms like fever, muscle pain, sore throat, diarrhea, weakness, vomiting, stomach pain, or unexplained bleeding or bruising during or for up to 21 days after travel. Travelers who develop symptoms after arriving in the United States should follow additional recommendations.
Is there a vaccine for Ebola?
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the Ebola vaccine rVSV-ZEBOV (tradename “Ervebo”) for the prevention of EVD. The rVSV-ZEBOV vaccine has been found to be safe and protective against only the Zaire ebolavirus species of ebolavirus. Learn more from the CDC website about Ebola.