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Ebola Frequently Asked Questions
What Is Ebola?
                    Passaic County Health Department Ebola Hotline: (973) 881-2790

    New Jersey Department of Health Ebola Call Center:  1-800-962-1253
Ebola is a severe, often fatal disease that can occur in humans and some animals.  It is caused by an infection with a virus.

Ebola is spread through direct contact with the blood or body fluids of an infected, symptomatic person.  It is also spread through exposure to objects (such as needles) that have been contaminated with infected secretions.  Ebola is not transmitted through the air, food or water.  It can also spread when people have direct contact with dead bodies of people who died from Ebola or with infected bats, rodents, or primates.

Difference between Seasonal Influenza and Ebola Virus Disease (EVD)

Seasonal influenza and Ebola virus infection can cause some similar symptoms.  However, of these viruses, your symptoms are most likely caused by seasonal influenza.  Influenza is very common. Millions of people are infected, hundreds of thousands are hospitalized and thousands die from flu each year.  In the United States, fall and winter is the time for flu.  While the exact timing and duration of flu seasons vary, outbreaks often begin in October and can last as late as May.  Most of the time flu activity peaks between December and February.  Information about current levels of U.S. flu activity is available in CDC's weekly FluView(http://www.cdc.gov/flu/weekly/fluactivitysurv.htm) report. 

In the United States, infections with Ebola virus have been exceedingly uncommon.  In the United States, there have been two travel-associated cases and two locally acquired cases among healthcare workers.  There is widespread transmission of Ebola virus disease in West Africa.

It is usually not possible to determine whether a patient has seasonal influenza or Ebola infection based on symptoms alone.  However, there are tests to detect seasonal influenza and Ebola infection.  Your doctor will determine if you should be tested for these illnesses based on your symptoms, clinical presentation and recent travel or exposure history.  (For information regarding the signs and symptoms of Ebola, and whether you may need to be tested, please review the Ebola case definitions.)

Taken from New Jersey Department of Health (NJDOH) publication(.pdf):

 Ebola frequently asked questions

How to Protect Yourself against Ebola

  • Wash hands frequently or use an alcohol-based sanitizer.
  • Avoid contact with blood and body fluids of any person, particularly someone who is sick.
  • Do not handle items that may have come in contact with an infected person's blood or body fluids.
  • Do not touch the body of someone who has died from Ebola.
  • Seek medical care immediately if you develop fever, headache, muscle pain, diarrhea, vomiting, stomach pain, or unexplained bruising or bleeding.

If you must travel to an area that has been affected by the 2014 Ebola outbreak, please visit the Centers for Disease Control website-Questions and Answers.