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24/7 Information Line for Ebola: 1-800-861-2280 (for Public Information purposes only)

You can only get Ebola from:
  • Touching the blood or body fluids of a person who is sick with or has died from Ebola.
  • Touching contaminated objects, like needles.
  • Touching infected animals, their blood or other body fluids, or their meat.
Ebola poses no significant risk to the United States


What is Ebola?

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 the Ebola virus, although 8 to 10 days is most common.

How is Ebola transmitted?

Ebola is transmitted through direct contact with the blood or bodily fluids of an infected symptomatic person or through exposure to objects (such as needles) that have been contaminated with infected secretions.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) urges all US residents to avoid nonessential travel to Sierra Leone, Guinea, and Liberia and to practice enhanced precautions if traveling to Nigeria because of the current outbreak of Ebola.

Can I get Ebola from a person who is infected but doesn't have any symptoms?

No. Individuals who are not symptomatic are not contagious. In order for the virus to be transmitted, an individual would have to have direct contact with an individual who is experiencing symptoms.

What is being done in Columbia County if Ebola should arise?

The Columbia County Department of Health is working closely with local first responders and health care providers to provide guidance, information and tracking of potential cases. Columbia County Department of Health is also working closely with New York State Department of Health and the CDC to get the most current information from across the state, country, and world. Columbia County is prepared in the event of an Ebola case and will continue to provide guidance and support for the first responders and health care providers who would be on the ground to deal with any potential outbreak.

What is being done to prevent ill passengers in West Africa from getting on a plane?

CDC is assisting with active screening and education efforts on the ground in West Africa to prevent sick travelers from getting on planes. In addition, airports in Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone, are screening all outbound passengers for Ebola symptoms, including fever, and passengers are required to respond to a health care questionnaire. CDC is also increasing support to the region by deploying additional workers to help build capacity on the ground.

Please see attached Ebola Information at the bottom of this page:
  • Ebola Update and Reference Sheet from Public Health Director Angella Timothy, RN, MPA
  • International Travel poster (for prevention of communicable diseases) - in English
  • Ebola CDC Fact Sheet 
  • Ebola Infographic from the CDC 

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