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Home > Living Well > Health Library > Ebola or Marburg Virus Infection
Ebola and Marburg virus diseases are rare but often deadly diseases that are caused by the Ebola or Marburg virus. A person who is sick with one of these viruses can spread the infection to others. These are known as hemorrhagic viruses, because they can cause severe bleeding.
These viruses started in Africa, and that is where most cases of the disease have happened. Infections have occurred in other parts of the world when people with the disease traveled there.
For the most up-to-date news about Ebola or Marburg outbreaks, check the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website (www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola or www.cdc.gov/vhf/marburg) or call them at 800-CDC-INFO (800-232-4636).
How a human first got one of these viruses is not known. Most experts think a person got the virus from an animal.
These viruses can be spread among people through direct contact with:
You cannot catch the Ebola or Marburg virus just by breathing the same air as an infected person. For the virus to spread to you, body fluids from an infected person have to enter your body. The virus can enter your body through broken skin (even tiny cuts you cannot see) or mucous membranes, such as the eyes, nose, and mouth.
People infected with the virus cannot spread it until they have symptoms.
The first symptoms usually feel like the flu. They include:
You may also have:
The symptoms appear suddenly from 2 to 21 days after you are exposed to the virus. But most people see symptoms in 8 to 10 days.
There is no medicine that cures an Ebola or Marburg virus infection. You will be treated in a hospital and separated from other patients. Treatment may include:
How well or fast you recover depends on how strong your immune system is and the quality of care you get.
If you have symptoms of the illness, do not go to a health facility without calling first. Calling first will help the health care team take better care of you and protect others from the illness.
Call a doctor now if:
Current as of:
February 9, 2022
Author: Healthwise StaffMedical Review: Martin J. Gabica MD - Family MedicineAdam Husney MD - Family MedicineLeslie Tengelsen PhD, DVM - Zoonotic Disease
Current as of: February 9, 2022
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine & Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Leslie Tengelsen PhD, DVM - Zoonotic Disease
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