Ebola virus disease (EVD), also known as Ebola, is a severe illness that is caused by a virus. Ebola viruses have caused outbreaks in several Central African countries and caused a large outbreak in West Africa from 2014 to 2016.

On September 20, 2022, an outbreak was announced in Uganda. As a result, Canada enhanced traveller health screening measures. To date, no confirmed cases related to this outbreak have been reported outside of Uganda.

The risk of exposure to EVD in Canada is extremely low.

If you or anyone in your household has any EVD symptoms and has travelled to an EVD-affected area, or had exposure to an EVD case in the last 21 days, isolate immediately and call Toronto Public Health before visiting a doctor or hospital.

Symptoms of EVD may include:

  • fever
  • headache
  • feeling tired
  • muscle pain and weakness
  • sore throat
  • rash
  • nausea and vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • hemorrhaging (bleeding)

Symptoms can begin 2 to 21 days after exposure and usually start with the sudden onset of fever followed by other symptoms.

Before you visit a doctor or a hospital, isolate and call Toronto Public Health immediately.

Toronto residents should call 416-338-7600, Monday to Friday, from 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., or call 311 after hours and ask to speak to the Communicable Disease Manager. Let health care workers know of your potential exposure to EVD before seeking health care.

Toronto Public Health will make appropriate arrangements for your medical assessment.

Describe your symptoms over the phone, tell them where you have been travelling and mention any possible exposure to EVD.

If you think you have EVD, it is important that you isolate immediately:

  • separate yourself from those around you and do not have physical contact with people, pets or animals.
  • do not take public transportation, taxi or ride share.
  • wash your hands frequently, especially after vomiting or using the toilet.
  • ensure that others do not come into contact with your body fluids (including blood, urine, feces, vomit, saliva, sweat, breast milk and semen) or anything that may have come in contact with your body fluids (e.g. linens, clothing, toilet, toiletries).

The risk of exposure to EVD is extremely low in Canada.

EVD is spread only through direct contact with the body fluids of an infected animal or a person infected with the virus. Transmission is not known to occur through the air.

The virus is spread through direct contact with:

  • The blood, body fluids (urine, saliva, feces, vomit, semen) or tissues of a sick person or someone who has died from EVD.
    • Avoid: Direct contact with body fluids and tissues of people who are sick or died from EVD.
    • Avoid: Unprotected sexual activity with a sick person.
  • Objects contaminated with the virus such as needles, surfaces, bedding, and medical equipment.
    • Avoid: EVD affected areas and activities such as unprotected contact with people or their items (clothing, bedding, etc.) or body fluids, who are sick from the virus, participation in unsafe burial practices of someone who died from the virus
  • Close contact with infected animals or their body fluids such as handling or eating infected animals (alive or dead).
    • Avoid: Handling or eating animals including bushmeat in EVD affected areas.

Learn more on how to prevent the spread of EVD.

Health Care Workers can find additional information on how to care for individuals with suspected or confirmed EVD.

EVD is confirmed through laboratory testing. Your doctor may suspect you have EVD based on your symptoms and patient information, including travel history.

Laboratory testing is necessary to diagnose EVD.

Treatment

Patients with EVD can be given oxygen, intravenous fluids and other drugs to help manage their symptoms. It is important to see a health care provider as soon as you start getting symptoms. Before seeing a health care provider, contact Toronto Public Health at 416-338-7600 (Monday to Friday, from 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., or 311 after hours) to make arrangements for your medical assessment