According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Ebola, previously known as Ebola hemorrhagic fever, is a rare and deadly disease caused by infection with one of the Ebola virus strains. Ebola can cause disease in humans and nonhuman primates (monkeys, gorillas, and chimpanzees).
The 2014 Ebola epidemic is the largest in history, affecting multiple countries in West Africa. There were a small number of cases reported in Nigeria and a single case reported in Senegal; however, these cases are considered to be contained, with no further spread in these countries.
Ebola is spread through direct contact with:
The blood or body fluids of a person who is sick with Ebola
Objects (like needles) that have been contaminated with the blood or body fluids of a person sick with Ebola
Touching the body of someone who has died from Ebola
Ebola and the United States
CDC confirmed on September 30, 2014, the first laboratory-confirmed case of Ebola to be diagnosed in the United States in a person who had traveled to Dallas, Texas from West Africa. The patient did not have symptoms when leaving West Africa, but developed symptoms approximately four days after arriving in the United States. On October 10, a health care worker at Texas Presbyterian Hospital who provided care for the index patient reported a low-grade fever and was referred for testing. The health care worker has tested positive for Ebola according to preliminary tests by the Texas Department of State Health Services’ laboratory. The health care worker was isolated after the initial report of a fever. CDC confirms that the health care worker is positive for Ebola.
On Wednesday, Oct. 15, 2014, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed that the second health care worker who tested positive for the Ebola virus disease (EVD) traveled by air from Cleveland, OH to Dallas, TX on Oct. 13. Because of the proximity in time between the evening flight and first report of illness the following morning, CDC is investigating.
For more information on these cases, visit the CDC web site