Ebola is transmitted through direct contact with the blood or bodily fluids of an infected person with symptoms or through exposure to objects (such as needles) that have been contaminated. Individuals who are not symptomatic are not contagious. Ebola virus is not spread through the air or through contaminated food or water.

Ebola virus is the cause of a viral hemorrhagic fever disease. Symptoms include: fever, headache, joint and muscle aches, weakness, diarrhea, vomiting, stomach pain, lack of appetite, and abnormal bleeding. Symptoms may appear anywhere from 2 to 21 days after exposure to Ebola virus, though 8-10 days is most common.

In outbreak settings, Ebola virus typically first spreads to humans after contact with infected wildlife and then spreads person-to-person through direct contact with bodily fluids such as, but not limited to, blood, urine, sweat, semen, and breast milk. Patients can transmit the virus while they have a fever and through later stages of disease, as well as after death, when persons touch the body during funeral preparations. For current outbreak information, visit the CDC Ebola website.

Long before the first confirmed case of Ebola in the United States was diagnosed in Dallas, Texas, Utah’s state and local public health departments and hospitals were preparing for the possibility that the disease could turn up in our state.

While the chances of a large-scale outbreak of Ebola occurring in the United States are very low, the Utah Department of Health recognizes that being prepared is key to preventing disease and infection control. Read more.

Information for the general public

  • American Public Health Association fact sheet (Word) (PDF)

Information for travelers

Information for public health

Information for healthcare workers and clinicians

Information for emergency medical services (EMS)

Information for laboratories handling and submitting Ebola virus specimens

Infection prevention and control guidelines