By Kenner Army Health Clinic Public Affairs OfficeNovember 6, 2014
FORT LEE, Va. (Nov. 6, 2014) -- Many communicable illnesses are present at this time of year such as common colds and coughs, sore throats and the flu or flu-like ailments. Since a number of these infections have similar symptoms as the Ebola Virus Disease -- fever, diarrhea and vomiting -- Kenner Army Health Clinic medical personnel and Army Medicine want to emphasize that the risk of contacting EVD in the United States is extremely low.
Due to media attention about the EVD outbreak, there is an increasing concern that Soldiers and beneficiaries who have one or more of these symptoms, along with a potential exposure to this virus, may be showing symptoms of EVD.
The following are important facts about Ebola:
• To become infected, an individual must have direct contact with an infected person's bodily fluids, such as blood or secretions.
• People cannot contact the EVD simply by being in the same room with an infected person.
• EVD is not spread through the air.
• EVD is not spread through water or food.
The disease only can be contracted by direct contact with the blood or bodily fluids of an infected person or by direct contact with certain animals in the endemic areas.
Symptoms of EVD include a temperature equal or greater than 100.4 F (or feeling like you have a fever), severe headache, muscle pain, weakness, diarrhea, vomiting, stomach pain, and unexplained bleeding or bruising.
Fever, or feeling feverish, is usually the first symptom. It could begin to appear anytime between two and 21 days after exposure.
If you or someone you know has traveled to a country in Africa currently experiencing the Ebola outbreak (such as Liberia, Sierra Leone or Guinea) or you have been exposed to someone you believe may have EVD and are concerned that you have been exposed or have symptoms of the disease, call your primary care provider or nearest emergency room for guidance.
If anyone needs advice regarding EVD and their primary care provider's office is closed, there are additional resources available.
For frequently asked questions regarding EVD, call the 24/7 Army Medicine Ebola information line at (800) 984-8523.
For additional up-to-date information regarding the Ebola outbreak and this disease, visit the U.S Army Public Health Command's webpage at http://phc.amedd.army.mil/topics/discond/diseases/pages/EbolaVirusDisease.aspx or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at www.cdc.gov/ebola.