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Keeping Yourself and Your Family Safe from Ebola

Ebola is a severe, often fatal, viral hemorrhagic fever disease. Ebola poses no significant threat to the U.S. population.

Symptoms may appear anywhere from 2 to 21 days after exposure to the disease, but the average is 8 to 10 days. Symptoms of Ebola include:

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Joint and Muscle Aches
  • Weakness
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Stomach Pain
  • Lack of Appetite
  • Abnormal Bleeding


Ebola is spread through direct contact with the blood or other bodily fluids of a sick person. Ebola can also be spread through funeral rites that involve touching the body of a person who died of Ebola. It is not spread through food, water, or the air.

For more information, see the following documents:

Frequently Asked Questions About Ebola

Facts About How Ebola is Spread


Who is at Risk of Having Ebola?

The only people who are at risk of having Ebola are people who have had close contact with someone who was sick with Ebola. Unless you come into direct contact with the blood or body fluids of someone who is sick with or has died from Ebola while they have symptoms (fever, vomiting, body aches or diarrhea), you cannot get the Ebola virus. The virus can also be present in certain body fluids of recovered people, such as semen.

If someone you know is complaining of Ebola-like symptoms, have them call their healthcare provider about their symptoms and any recent travel.

PDPH Activities

The Department of Public Health works with a variety of partner agencies to ensure that we are ready for a case of Ebola in Philadelphia. We also make sure that doctors and nurses in Philadelphia have access to the latest guidance materials and tools through our Health Information Portal.

For More Information

The Health Department is using social media to provide the latest updates and information on Ebola. Follow us on Twitter and on Facebook.

For more information, the CDC and Pennsylvania Department of Health have created websites about Ebola as well.