Ebola virus disease (EVD) is a severe, often fatal, viral disease. Currently, there are Ebola outbreaks in the Western African nations of Guinea and Sierra Leone. This page is to familiarize Marylanders with facts about the virus and inform them on the steps taken by the State of Maryland to protect public health.
To date, there have been no cases of the disease acquired in Maryland.
Ebola symptoms usually include fever. Other symptoms may include headache, diarrhea, vomiting, weakness, joint and muscle aches, stomach pain, lack of appetite and bleeding. The symptoms can be similar to other, more common, infections. Symptoms appear 2-21 days after exposure to the virus, but most commonly occur 8-10 days after exposure.
How is Ebola spread? Individuals who do not have a fever are not contagious and cannot transmit the disease to another person. The Ebola virus is transmitted through direct contact with the blood or body fluids of an infected person with symptoms or through exposure to objects (such as needles) contaminated by infected body fluids. Transmission can also occur from directly handling bats, rodents or primates in areas where Ebola occurs.
How Ebola is Spread
Individuals who have recently been in a country with known Ebola, and who also have had:
If someone has symptoms of Ebola and a possible exposure, that person should see a healthcare provider.
What is the treatment for Ebola?
What is the risk of Ebola in Maryland?
Because of these steps -- while it is possible that additional cases might appear in the United States, including Maryland -- it is very unlikely that there will be a significant outbreak here. Strict adherence to infection control practices prevents the spread of the virus in health care settings. DHMH will continue to work closely with leaders in infection control and CDC to support health care workers.
What is DHMH doing?
DHMH is monitoring the national and global situation and is in frequent communication with the CDC. DHMH is conducting disease surveillance and regularly communicates with and distributes guidance to Maryland hospitals and healthcare providers. DHMH works with health care providers and local health departments to quickly investigate reports of possible Ebola infections.
In the event that a Maryland high-risk patient [someone who displayed symptoms and also had traveled to a West African nation where the Ebola outbreak is occurring or also had come into contact with the body fluids of an infected person] required testing, DHMH's lab (working in conjunction with the CDC's lab) would test specimens from that patient. In the event that both the CDC and DHMH labs returned a result confirming an Ebola infection, we would share that information with the public.
Where can I learn more?
For the most current information regarding Ebola and outbreaks caused by Ebola, visit http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/
Download the DHMH Ebola General Fact Sheet
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