Ebola Virus Disease 

Ebola Virus

No cases of Ebola have been confirmed in Montana at this time. 

Current Outbreak 

On September 20, 2022, the Ugandan Ministry of Health confirmed an outbreak of Ebola virus disease (EVD) (Sudan virus) in Mubende District, in western Uganda. CDC Uganda Ebola Outbreak information.

As of January 11, 2023, CDC has recommended an end to U.S. travel-related measures, including public health monitoring of travelers who have been to Uganda in the prior 21 days. 

What to do if you recently traveled from Uganda? 

Travelers who have recently returned to Montana after spending time in Uganda should expect to receive a call or text message from their local health department. Local health department staff will work with you to determine your exposure risk level, as well as a plan for monitoring symptoms and potential quarantine (quarantine will only occur for individuals who have had high-risk exposures to someone known or suspected to have Ebola). A person can only spread Ebola to other people after they develop signs and symptoms of Ebola disease. 

If a person who recently returned from Uganda develops symptoms of Ebola, such as fever, fatigue, headaches, or joint and muscle pain, the individual should notify their local health department and contact a health care provider and tell them about their recent travel and any exposure(s) to ill individuals. The health care provider will evaluate the person’s risk of Ebola as well as other more common infections in Uganda, such as malaria. 

What You Need to Know About Ebola

Ebola is a severe, often deadly disease that is caused by the Ebola virus. Symptoms of Ebola most commonly begin 8-10 days after coming into contact with the Ebola virus, but symptoms can occur anywhere between 2-21 days after exposure. 

Signs and symptoms of Ebola typically progress from the “dry” symptoms initially (e.g., fever, headache, joint and muscle pain) and progress to “wet” symptoms (e.g., diarrhea, vomiting, and abnormal bleeding) as the person becomes sicker. These symptoms are not specific to Ebola and are often seen with other illnesses. 

  • Ebola is spread through direct contact (e.g., through broken skin or mucous membranes in the eyes, nose, or mouth) with blood or body fluids (e.g., urine, saliva, sweat, feces, vomit, semen) of a person who is sick with Ebola, or a person who has recently died from Ebola. 
  • It can also be spread through contact with objects (e.g., clothes, bedding, needles, and medical equipment) contaminated with body fluids from a person who is sick with or has died from EVD. 
  • Ebola cannot be spread by an infected person before they have symptoms of the illness. 
  • It is possible for those who recover from Ebola to infect others as long as their blood or other body fluids contain the Ebola virus. Blood and fluids can remain infectious for several weeks. 
  • Ebola is not spread through water, and is not known to be transmitted through food
  • Ebola virus may spread through the handling and consumption of wild animal meat or hunted wild animals infected with Ebola, in parts of the world where Ebola virus is found 

What are body fluids? 

Ebola has been detected in blood and many other body fluids. Body fluids include saliva, mucus, vomit, feces, sweat, tears, breast milk, urine and semen. 

What does “direct contact” mean? 

Direct contact means that body fluids (e.g., blood, saliva, mucus, vomit, urine, feces, semen) from an infected person (alive or dead) are passed to the healthy person through direct physical contact. Examples of direct contact include touching, kissing, sexual contact, contact with oral secretions, or contact with body lesions; transmission can also occur after contact with objects that have been contaminated with body fluids from an infected person.

Call the local health department and a healthcare provider and share any potential risk factors you have, such as travel to Uganda or contact to a case with known or suspected EVD 

Healthcare Provider and Public Health Information

  • For most people, the risk of catching Ebola is extremely low. 
  • People who care for Ebola patients are at the highest risk because they may come into contact with blood or other body fluids. 
  • People who come into contact with the bodies of Ebola victims are also at risk and should take protective measures to avoid possible infection. 
  • There are no available vaccines or medications to prevent Ebola.