What is the Ebola Virus

What is the Ebola Virus

Ebola, virus disease (EVD), previously known as Ebola haemorrhagic fever, is a rare and deadly disease caused by infection with one of the Ebolavirus strains.
Symptoms may appear anywhere from 2 to 21 days after exposure to Ebola, but the average is 8 to 10 days. Symptoms include:

  • Fever (body temperature Fever Severe headache
  • Muscle pain
  • Weakness
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Stomach pain
  • Unexplained bruising or bleeding

Symptoms begin with a sudden onset of fever, headache, muscle aches and weakness. At this stage, infection with Ebola virus is difficult to diagnose as these symptoms can occur with many other viral infections. The next stage may include vomiting, diarrhoea, cough, rash and malfunctioning of the liver and kidneys. Cases may then progress to multi-organ failure often with internal haemorrhaging of these organs.


Ebolavirus is spread through direct contact with blood or body fluids (including but not limited to urine, saliva, sweat, faeces, vomit, breast milk, and semen) of a person who is sick with Ebola, objects (like needles and syringes) that have been contaminated with the virus and  infected animals. The virus enters the body through mucus membranes (such as eyes, nose or mouth) or broken skin.  Airborne transmission, through suspected particles containing Ebolavirus, has not been documented in humans.
For further information please see links to the Department of Health website www.health.gov.au , CDC website www.cdc.gov  and Smartraveller website www.smartraveller.gov.au.

(These facts and recommendations are taken from the World Health Organisation, Centre for Disease Control in the United States and the Australian Government Health Department and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Travel)