Ebola Virus

What You Should Know

As the news about the Ebola virus spreads, it is important for parents and families to stay calm and understand the facts about the virus.

How is Ebola spread?

The Ebola virus is only spread through direct contact with:

  • Body fluids of a person who is sick with Ebola or who has died from Ebola. Body fluids include spit, blood, urine, vomit, etc.
  • Objects that are contaminated with the virus, like contaminated needles or infectious waste.
  • Infected animals – their blood, fluids, or infected meat

The Ebola virus is not spread through air, water, or through the food that is grown or legally in the United States. It can only be spread to others after symptoms begin.

At UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh's Department of Infectious Diseases, we are asking patients and families to inform a staff member if you have traveled in the last three weeks or have had close contact with someone who has traveled in the last three weeks.

This is especially important if you or your child has a fever or any of these symptoms:

  • Body aches
  • Cough
  • Diarrhea
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Headache
  • Rash
  • Vomiting
  • Weakness

More Resources

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

World Health Organization

Reviewed by: Michael Green, MD, MPH, Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases, UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh.