Nov. 7, 2022 Health Alert: Outbreak of Ebola virus disease (Sudan ebolavirus) in Central Uganda
Ebola virus disease (EVD) is a deadly disease with occasional outbreaks that occur mostly on the African continent. EVD most commonly affects people and nonhuman primates (such as monkeys, gorillas, and chimpanzees). It is caused by an infection with a group of viruses within the genus Ebolavirus:
- Ebola virus (species Zaire ebolavirus)
- Sudan virus (species Sudan ebolavirus)
- Taï Forest virus (species Taï Forest ebolavirus, formerly Côte d’Ivoire ebolavirus)
- Bundibugyo virus (species Bundibugyo ebolavirus)
- Reston virus (species Reston ebolavirus)
- Bombali virus (species Bombali ebolavirus)
How is it transmitted?
The virus spreads through direct contact (such as through broken skin or mucous membranes in the eyes, nose, or mouth) with:
- Blood or body fluids (urine, saliva, sweat, feces, vomit, breast milk, amniotic fluid, and semen) of a person who is sick with or has died from Ebola virus disease (EVD).
- Objects (such as clothes, bedding, needles, and medical equipment) contaminated with body fluids from a person who is sick with or has died from EVD.
- Infected fruit bats or nonhuman primates (such as apes and monkeys).
- Semen from a man who recovered from EVD (through oral, vaginal, or anal sex). The virus can remain in certain body fluids (including semen) of a patient who has recovered from EVD, even if they no longer have symptoms of severe illness. There is no evidence that Ebola can be spread through sex or other contact with vaginal fluids from a woman who had Ebola.
Signs and Symptoms
Symptoms may appear anywhere from 2 to 21 days after contact with the virus, with an average of 8 to 10 days. The course of the illness typically progresses from “dry” symptoms initially (such as fever, aches and pains, and fatigue). It then goes to “wet” symptoms (such as diarrhea and vomiting) as the person becomes sicker.
Primary signs and symptoms of Ebola often include some or several of the following:
- Aches and pains, such as severe headaches and muscle and joint pain
- Weakness and fatigue
- Sore throat
- Loss of appetite
- Gastrointestinal symptoms include abdominal pain, diarrhea, and vomiting
- Unexplained hemorrhaging, bleeding or bruising
There are two therapeutics available for treatment.
Whether or not other treatments are available, basic interventions can significantly improve chances of survival when provided early. These are referred to as supportive care, and include:
- Providing fluids and electrolytes (body salts) orally or through infusion into the vein (intravenously).
- Using medication to support blood pressure, reduce vomiting and diarrhea, and to manage fever and pain.
- Treating other infections, if they occur.