Ebola information for Missourians

Shirley J. Farrah
Assistant Dean
Nursing Outreach

There was a great deal of information in the media concerning the Ebola outbreak in Fall 2014. Some information is good, but much is borderline misinformation or contributes to a sense of panic. MU Extension has a tradition of being responsible and steering you toward what is known to be accurate and true. With this in mind, we suggest that you turn to the following known and trusted sources, such as the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

Ebola virus and humans

  • Please see the following CDC poster for facts and symptoms of Ebola: http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/pdf/infographics-ebola-basics.pdf. Note that these symptoms are only indicative of Ebola if the person has previous history of Ebola exposure. Ebola patients vary widely in infectiousness. The sicker the patient is, the more likely they are to spread disease. So far, no cases in the U.S. have resulted from contact with an Ebola patient in the early stages of disease.
  • There have been no cases of Ebola in Missouri. However, if you suspect that you have Ebola, you should contact your local health agencies.

Resources in Missouri

Ebola virus and domestic animals

  • Ebola is a zoonotic disease — meaning it can be transmitted from animals to humans and vice versa. However, the World Health Organization (WHO) states there is no evidence that domestic animals play an active role in the transmission of the disease to humans. Researchers believe that in Africa the spread of Ebola is a result of handling bushmeat (wild animals hunted for food) and contact with infected bats.
  • Although there is no evidence of transmission of Ebola virus between domestic animals and humans, health officials still take precautions to minimize the risk of transmission. For example, the dog of the Ebola-infected nurse in Texas is under quarantine and will be monitored for 21 days for signs of disease. Veterinarians and public health officials continue to refine the protocols for dealing with the pets of Ebola patients.
  • For further information about Ebola and domestic animals, visit: http://www.avma.org/public/Health/Pages/Ebola-virus-FAQ.aspx

For more information

  • Please refer to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: http://cdc.gov/ebola