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      Ebola

      Latest update: - Authors: Ula Maniewski, Nele Alders

      Ebola is a rare and deadly disease caused by the Ebola virus.

      The following symptoms may occur between 2 and 21 days after infection:

      • headache
      • muscle pain
      • high fever

      These are sometimes followed by:

      • vomiting
      • diarrhoea
      • (fatal) bleeding

      Infection can occur through direct contact with infected persons, bats or (great) apesand their bodily fluids. Mosquitoes cannot transmit the disease.

      After full recovery, there is probably lifelong immunity to the disease, but the virus can still remain present in certain body fluids such as semen and eye fluids for a long time.

      Health care workers and family members of patients are at high risk of infection. For tourists the risk is very low.

      The treatment is supportive and with monoclonal antibodies

      Risk areas

      Ebola has occured in several African countries. Outbreaks have have been described in Congo (Brazzaville), Congo (Democratic Republic), Gabon, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Nigeria, Uganda, Sierra Leone and South Sudan. More information on ebola outbreaks can be found on this specialized website.

      Prevention

      Hygiene

      Wash your hands with soap after making contact with people or objects in a public area.

      Infected persons

      Avoid contact with blood and other body fluids of (potentially) infected persons and objects that came into contact with them.

      Semen

      Avoid contact with semen from men survived Ebola until 12 months after cure or until the semen has been tested negatif. 

      Animals

      Avoid contact with bats and their droppings.

      Avoid places where there are many bats, such as their roosts.

      Avoid contact with other animals, especially bats and (great) apes

      Food

      Avoid contact with bushmeat and in particular bats and (great) apes.

      Vaccination

      There is no vaccine available for travellers.

      In case of symptoms

      In case of fever or illness within 21 days of returning from a country where there is an Ebola outbreak, or after contact with someone who is Ebola-infected: contact immediately by phone.

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