Ebola disease is caused by the Ebola virus and is one of a number of hemorrhagic fever diseases. Ebola disease causes severe illness in which 50-90 percent of those infected die. Ebola disease was first discovered in 1976 in what is now the Democratic Republic of Congo near the Ebola River.
Ebola symptoms include fever, headache, joint and muscle aches, weakness, diarrhea, vomiting, stomach pain and lack of appetite. Some patients have a rash, red eyes, hiccups, cough, sore throat, chest pain, difficulty breathing or swallowing, or bleeding inside and outside the body.
Symptoms usually start 4-10 days after coming into contact with Ebola virus but can occur as early as 2 days to up to 21 days after exposure.
Health care providers caring for Ebola patients and family and friends in close contact with an ill person are at highest risk because they may come into contact with blood or body fluids.
2014/2015 West Africa OutbreakClick for Outbreak Distribution Map (CDC)
The ongoing Ebola outbreak in West Africa is the largest ever recorded. In preparation for the possible importation of Ebola from travelers returning from affected countries, the Section of Epidemiology has been working closely with its partners to make sure everyone is prepared.
Activities have included:
- Interagency teleconferences
- Multidisciplinary Grand Rounds presentations
- Public Health Alerts
- Multiple television and radio media interviews
- Frequent telephone and email consultations with stakeholders
- Participation in regular teleconferences with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention and other States to ensure updated and accurate information and guidance
All of these activities help maximize the chances that any patients in Alaska at risk for having Ebola disease will be handled appropriately, and any risk to fellow Alaskans will be minimized. The links below provide further details and information.
Additionally, the State is publishing updated information through various electronic list-serves and distribution lists. If you have questions or need assistance signing up for the list-serves, please send an email to InfDisease@alaska.gov.
Spotlight on Ebola
Note: As of June 17, 2015, CDC updated the guidance for monitoring travelers from Liberia, where the EVD outbreak has been declared over by WHO. Travelers from Liberia will continue to be routed through the established five ports of entry and subject to health screening upon entry. However, they will be given self-monitoring health kits and only subject to active monitoring by request of the State health authorities at their final destination. In Alaska, the Section of Epidemiology will continue to receive notification of these travelers; we plan to remain in contact with them throughout their monitoring period.
DHSS Ebola Virus Disease Response Plan
Resources for the General Public
Resources for Healthcare Providers
In the Media
Public Health Alerts
Didn't find what you are looking for? Please email InfDisease@alaska.gov with any questions.