Ebola Virus Disease

What is Ebola Virus Disease?
Ebola Virus Disease (Ebola) is a rare disease that causes fever in humans and some animals. Ebola is spread through contact with bodily fluids from someone who has been infected. In its late stages, this serious viral infection can cause internal and external bleeding which can lead to death.
Are Canadians at risk of contracting Ebola?
There is currently an Ebola outbreak in Uganda. The public health risk to Canadians from Ebola is low as the Ebola virus does not spread easily from person to person. It is spread primarily by direct contact with bodily fluids of a person who is infected with Ebola, not through casual contact. There has never been a case of Ebola in Canada.
I have arrived recently from one of the affected countries - what should I do? 
Travellers from a country experiencing an Ebola outbreak are screened by a Public Health Agency of Canada Quarantine Officer upon entry into Canada regarding their travel history. Travellers who have not self-identified as having a potential exposure to Ebola are advised to self-monitor for the development of symptoms for 21 days after their departure from an affected country. Ottawa Public Health is notified by Public Health Ontario of any traveller who is returning to, or visiting, Ottawa from a country experiencing an Ebola outbreak and had a potential exposure to Ebola; these travellers are given an Order to report to Ottawa Public Health within 72 hours of their arrival. If you have been given an Order to report to Ottawa Public Health:
  • Call 613-580-6744 ext. 24224 during regular business hours, Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. OR call the number already provided to you by the Quarantine Officer OR if after regular business hours, call 3-1-1 and ask to speak to  Ottawa Public Health
  • A Public Health Nurse will assess your level of risk for infection and provide you with instructions concerning your activities during the 21-day monitoring period
I have arrived recently from one of the affected areas and am feeling unwell - what should I do?
If you become ill with a fever and/or if you experience any other symptoms after travelling to countries with declared Ebola outbreaks, call Ottawa Public Health at 613-580-6744.
  • Inform them of your symptoms and your recent travel history, and the travel history of those with whom you have been in close contact.
  • Do not take public transportation if you must seek medical attention

If you require urgent care, call 911.

What are the symptoms of Ebola infection?
  • Symptoms of Ebola infection begin within two to 21 days after exposure.
  • Initial symptoms of Ebola include sudden onset fever (>38°C), feeling tired, headache, muscle pain and weakness, sore throat, rash, unexplained bleeding or bruising, nausea and vomiting, abdominal pain, or diarrhea.
  • Signs more specific to Ebola that may present later in some patients can include pink eyes, rash, and both internal and external bleeding. 
Is there treatment for Ebola?
At this time, there is no vaccine for the strain of Ebola in the current outbreak in Uganda. Treatment involves symptom management and supportive care for those who have been infected. All persons with symptoms of Ebola and awaiting testing will be hospitalized.
How can Ebola be prevented?
To prevent the spread of Ebola, it is recommended to:
What is the role of Ottawa Public Health?
Ottawa Public Health (OPH) nurses are available to answer questions, assess risk of exposure in returning travellers from the Ebola affected area and make recommendations for follow-up such as self-monitoring of symptoms. OPH is working closely with the Ministry of Health to ensure timely assessment, management and follow up of returning travelers who become ill.
Travel Information
For information regarding travel notices or restrictions please visit the Public Health Agency of Canada Travel Health Notices.

For further information on Ebola, visit the following websites:

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