Know the Facts on Ebola Virus Disease
The spread of Ebola virus disease (EVD) can be prevented.
EVD is spread only through direct contact with body fluids of a person experiencing EVD symptoms, who has recovered from EVD (sexual transmission), or who has died. People can also get infected by handling or consuming infected animals.
Transmission can occur:
- via unprotected contact with the blood, body fluids or tissues of a symptomatic person infected with EVD;
- via unprotected contact with the body of a person who has died from the disease, including handling a body for burial;
- via unprotected sexual contact with a person who is recovering from EVD (up to 12 months following infection);
- via unprotected contact with soiled surfaces, materials (such as bedding) or medical equipment (such as needles) contaminated with the Ebola virus;
- via close contact (including the consumption) of infected animals (alive or dead) or their body fluids; or
- in health-care settings, if staff who are caring for a person infected with the virus do not use appropriate infection prevention and control measures.
Transmission is not known to occur through:
- contact with infected individuals before they develop symptoms;
- casual contact, such as sharing a seat on public transportation or sitting in the same waiting room; or
- the air.
Symptoms can begin 2 to 21 days after exposure, typically with the sudden onset of a fever followed by other symptoms.
What are the symptoms of EVD?
- Red or irritated eyes
- Sore throat
- Nausea and vomiting
- Muscle pain and weakness
What should you do if you become ill while abroad?
Before visiting a doctor or a hospital, immediately call the in-country public health authority if you have, or if anyone in your household has, any of the symptoms listed above and has travelled in an EVD-affected are in the last 21 days. If you do not have symptoms, but believe you may have been exposed to a source of the Ebola virus, call the in-country health authority so your risk can be assessed promptly. Monitor your health a directed and do not travel.
When returning to Canada, monitor your health for 21 days.
If you develop symptoms of the disease en route to, or on arrival in Canada, you must inform a flight attendant (while in flight) or a Canada Border Services officer on arrival. They will ensure you are medically assessed. If you develop symptoms once at home, call your local public health authority immediately:
- Describe your symptom(s).
- Tell them where you have been travelling or living.
- Tell them about any possible exposure you may have had to the virus.
When you call, they will provide you with instructions, including appropriate arrangements for a medical assessment.
For more information, go to Ebola virus disease pages on the Canada.ca website.
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