Ebola virus disease (EVD)

Ebola virus disease (EVD) is caused by an infection with Ebola virus and is a serious disease that causes severe, often fatal, conditions in human beings and primates (including gorillas and chimpanzees).

How is Ebola transmitted?

The risk of infection applies particularly in the remote regions where the virus is prevalent. The Ebola virus is transmitted through direct physical contact with an infected person (also when deceased) and through body fluids of infected humans and animals (blood, faeces, urine, vomit, sperm, sweat). There is no proof of spreading through sneezing or coughing. People often get infected at the funeral of a relative. Symptoms may appear anywhere from 2 to 23 days after exposure to Ebola. Prior to the onset of symptoms, there is no risk of contamination.

What are the symptoms?

Ebola virus disease usually begins with complaints such as headaches, muscle aches, extreme weakness and fatigue and accompanied by vomiting, diarrhoea, liver damage and kidney damage. In some cases, unexplained internal and external bleedings arise. Between 50% and 90% of those infected do not survive EVD. There is no vaccine available against Ebola. Treatment primarily consists of preventing and fighting complications.

How to prevent yourself from infection with Ebola?

Travellers are not likely to get infected. However, we strongly advise travellers – besides general hygiene matters – to also observe additional measures. Avoid contact with blood or other bodily fluids (such saliva and urine) of infected persons. Also avoid unprotected sexual contact. Ultimately, also avoid contact with wild animals and do not eat ‘bush meat’.

If you have any questions, please call our special vaccination advice line, via: 0900 1091 096 or by email: travelclinic@klm.com. We are happy to help you personally.