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 West Africa Outbreak
The 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 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.