Ebola Virus Disease and Marburg Virus Disease

Cause: Ebolaviruses (specifically Zaire ebolavirus, Sudan ebolavirus, Taï Forest ebolavirus, and Bundibugyo ebolavirus) and Marburg virus

Illness and treatment: Maximum incubation period is 21 days. Illness begins with abrupt onset of fever, headache, and muscle aches progressing after about five days to watery diarrhea, vomiting and abdominal pain. Later signs can include internal and external bleeding, and multi-organ failure; 60-90% of cases are fatal. Treatment is, supportive, however there is research to show that monoclonal antibodies might be effective against Zaire ebolavirus.

Sources: Ebola and Marburg virus diseases are known to occur in parts of Africa. Initial transmission from an unknown mammalian reservoir can be followed by person-to-person transmission through direct contact with body fluids or excreta (blood, urine, diarrhea, vomit, sweat, semen, milk) including percutaneous injection, mucous membrane contamination, or contact with corpses. Infectiousness begins with the onset of first symptoms and progresses as symptoms worsen.

Prevention: Strict adherence to infection control measures is essential when treating patients potentially infected with Ebola and Marburg virus disease.

Recent Washington trends: No cases have occurred in the state.

Purpose of Reporting and Surveillance

  • To identify cases of Ebola or Marburg virus disease associated with travel
  • To prevent further spread of the disease within the United States

Legal Reporting Requirements

  • Health care providers and Health care facilities: immediately notifiable to local health jurisdiction
  • Laboratories: detection of Ebola virus or Marburg virus immediately notifiable to local health jurisdiction of the patient's residence; specimen submission requested – positive specimens (2 business days) (Sections 3 and 4).
  • Local health jurisdictions: suspected and confirmed cases are immediately notifiable to the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) Communicable Disease Epidemiology (CDE) (1-877-539-4344).