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Ebola Virus Disease 

Information for Local Health Departments

Last updated November 1, 2022

Important Update

  • On January 11, 2023, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the 2022 Uganda Ebola outbreak over, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) discontinued monitoring of travelers returning from Uganda.

  • A total of 142 cases including 55 deaths were reported from nine districts in Uganda during September-November 2022. The outbreak was declared over after 42 days (twice the incubation period for Ebola infection) have passed since the last case was reported.

Ebola virus disease (EVD) is a rare but often fatal infectious disease in humans and nonhuman primates. Ebola was first discovered in 1976 in what is now called the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Since then, the virus has on occasion, emerged from its natural reservoir (which has not been confirmed, but is believed to be fruit bats) and spread among people in certain parts of Africa.

The genus Ebolavirus is composed of six species, four of which are known to cause disease in humans (Zaire, Sudan, Tai Forest, Bundibugyo).

  • Zaire ebolavirus was associated with several large outbreaks in Central Africa and Western Africa, including the 2014–2016 West African EVD epidemic, during which there were more than 28,000 cases and 11,000 deaths.

  • Sudan ebolavirus has caused several outbreaks in Sudan and Uganda, including the EVD outbreak in Uganda confirmed in September 2022.

People can get EVD through direct contact (through broken skin or mucous membranes) with:

  • an infected animal (fruit bat or nonhuman primate)

  • a person who is sick with or has died from EVD

  • blood or body fluids (urine, saliva, sweat, vomit, feces, breast milk, and semen) from a person who is sick with or has died from EVD

  • objects (such as clothes, bedding, needles, and medical equipment) contaminated with the blood or body fluids from a person who is sick with or has died from EVD

People with EVD can only spread Ebola to other people while they are experiencing symptoms or after they have died.

Contact CDPH

If the LHD is notified of a suspected Ebola virus disease case, contact CDPH immediately:

The prevention and control of EVD in California requires a coordinated effort between healthcare providers and local health departments (LHDs), healthcare facilities, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

LHDs should review and update their plans for responding to and managing a patient with EVD or other highly infectious diseases. As these plans are developed, LHDs should coordinate with local healthcare providers and facilities, the Local Emergency Medical Services Agency (LEMSA), and local EMS transport agencies, among others.

Reporting to CDPH

Ebola virus disease is considered to be a medical and public health emergency and must be immediately reported to CDPH.

If a returned traveler or any person with high-risk exposure(s) develops symptoms suggestive of EVD, CDPH should be notified immediately.

High-risk exposures to Ebola include:

      • Percutaneous (i.e., piercing the skin), mucous membrane (e.g., eye, nose, or mouth), or skin contact with blood or body fluids of an ill or dead person with known or suspected EVD.

      • Direct physical contact with (e.g. shaking hands or touching) a person who has/had known or suspected EVD.

      • Providing health care or home care to a patient with known or suspected EVD without use of recommended personal protective equipment (PPE).

      • Experiencing a breach in infection control precautions that results in the potential for percutaneous, mucous membrane, or skin contact with the blood or body fluids of a patient or a dead body with EVD.

      • Living in the same household as a person with symptomatic known or suspected EVD.

      • Contact with semen from a man who has recently recovered from EVD (e.g., through oral, vaginal, or anal sex).

Patients with high-risk exposure(s) will be managed in coordination with CDPH and CDC. LHDs can use the "Ebola Contact Tracking" condition in CalREDIE for monitoring of individuals who have returned from Ebola-affected areas. This condition includes three User Defined Forms:

  1. Contact Summary

  2. Travel History

  3. Symptom Diary that can be used for 21-day monitoring

The "Ebola Virus Disease" condition in CalREDIE can be used for individuals with suspected EVD.

Individuals may be classified as persons under investigation (PUI) if they have signs and symptoms of EVD and an epidemiological risk factor (e.g., high-risk exposure(s), travel to an Ebola outbreak area, etc.).

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