Ebola Virus Disease (EVD)

Ebola Virus Disease is a severe disease that causes hemorrhagic fever in humans and animals. Diseases that cause Viral Hemorrhagic Fevers, such as EVD, are often fatal (50-90% of cases) as they affect the body's vascular system and can lead to significant internal bleeding and organ failure.

Symptoms of EVD begin within 2-21 days of exposure. Cases present with sudden onset of fever, usually with headache, malaise and myalgia. Gastrointestinal symptoms (i.e. diarrhea, abdominal pain, vomiting) are common. Sore throat, chest pain, cough, rash and conjunctivitis may also occur. Hemorrhagic (bleeding) symptoms occur in 50% of cases (petechiae, ecchymosis, hematemesis, blood in urine and nose bleed).

It is important to emphasize that EVD does not spread easily from person to person:

  • The virus spreads only through direct contact with infected body fluids
  • Cases are contagious only when they have symptoms
  • The infectiousness of cases increases as the disease progresses
  • EVD is not airborne 

The current outbreak of Ebola is in West Africa. There have also been confirmed cases in Spain and the United States which were imported, as a result of travel, from West Africa. There have been no reported cases of EVD in Canada and the risk to Ontarians remains low.

Region of Waterloo Public Health is actively working with the Ministry of Health, Public Health Ontario and local health care partners to support health care system preparedness in our community.

All persons under investigation, probable and confirmed cases of EVD are reportable to Public Health.

Links and Resources

Below is a list of key Ebola Virus Disease Resources. For further information regarding EVD, please call the Infectious Disease Reporting and Information Line at 519-575-4400, ext. 5275.

Ministry of Health and Long Term Care

Public Health Agency of Canada

Center for Disease Control (USA)

World Health Organization

Ebola and Quarantine PDF icon