There are no Ebola cases in Wisconsin and Dane County and the risk of contracting the disease remains extremely low. Public Health-Madison & Dane County and other partner organizations are working together to make sure Dane County is prepared in the unlikely event Ebola arrives in our community.
Facts About Ebola:
• Ebola is a serious concern, but only if you have traveled to Guinea, Sierra Leone or Liberia and have had direct, fluid-based contact with someone who has Ebola. It poses little risk to the U.S. population.
• Ebola virus is not spread through casual contact, air, water, or food grown or legally purchased in the U.S.
• The Ebola virus is spread through:
-direct contact with body fluids of a person who is sick or has died from Ebola (blood,
vomit, urine, feces, sweat, semen, spit, other fluids)
-objects contaminated with the virus (needles, medical equipment)
-infected animals (by contact with blood or fluids of infected African meat)
• Ebola can only be spread to others after symptoms begin. Symptoms can appear 2-21 days after exposure. (fever, headache, diarrhea, vomiting, stomach pain, muscle pain, unexplained bleeding or bruising)
• Ebola only spreads when people are sick. A patient must have symptoms to spread the disease to others. After 21 days, if an exposed person does not develop symptoms, they will not become sick with Ebola.
Public Health-Madison & Dane County (PHMDC) is working with organizations countywide as they continue to develop their Ebola readiness plans, assuring that current CDC and state guidelines are followed, and that there is a coordinated response. Hospitals, clinics, university and colleges, schools, the airport and emergency response providers are working hard to put plans in place and coordinate with each other to identify cases, provide high level care for an Ebola patient, and protect the community, health care providers and first responders.
If you are feeling unwell, it is likely influenza or any of the cold viruses currently circulating in Dane County. These viruses are much more common and more easily spread than Ebola. The best things you can do to stay healthy are to get your flu vaccine and wash your hands.