What to Know About Ebola

The New York State Department of Health (DOH) continues to protect public health by working aggressively to prevent the spread of the Ebola Virus.

On September 20, 2022, the Ugandan Ministry of Health confirmed an outbreak of Ebola virus disease in western Uganda. At this time, there are no suspected or confirmed Ebola cases in New York State. For more information and updates on the current outbreak from CDC click here.

DOH is in continuous contact with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, local health departments statewide, health departments in surrounding states, hospital associations, individual health care facilities, EMS providers, transportation officials and other entities to monitor any suspect or confirmed cases of Ebola virus, support investigations of those cases, and provide guidance and information on infection control protocols and procedures to ensure the health and safety of all health care workers, patients, visitors and the general public.

What is Ebola virus?

Ebola virus is the cause of a viral hemorrhagic fever disease, a deadly disease that most commonly affects people and non-human primates. See Ebola virus disease (EVD) factsheet and CDC online Ebola resources for additional information.

How does Ebola spread?

Ebola is spread through:

  • Direct contact with the blood or bodily fluids (urine, saliva, sweat, feces, vomit, breast milk, amniotic fluid, and semen) of an infected symptomatic person.
  • Direct contact with a person who died from EVD.
  • Exposure to objects (such as clothes, bedding, needles, and medical equipment) that have been contaminated with infected secretions.
  • Consumption of bushmeat.
  • Semen of men who have recovered from previous EVD infection (through oral, vaginal, or anal sex).

Ebola is not spread through:

  • Individuals who are not symptomatic. For the virus to be transmitted, someone would have to have direct contact with an individual who is experiencing symptoms.
  • The air. Unlike respiratory diseases like the flu, Ebola cannot be spread through the air.
  • Food grown or legally purchased in the U.S.

What are the symptoms of Ebola?

Signs and symptoms of Ebola virus disease may appear anywhere from 2-21 days (8-10 on average) after exposure to the Ebola virus and may include:

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Joint and muscle aches
  • Weakness
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Stomach pain
  • Lack of appetite
  • Abnormal bleeding