Public health agencies, including the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) and the Alexandria Health Department, continue to monitor the Ebola epidemic in West Africa. While the risk of Ebola transmission within the US remains low, cases may be detected among travelers entering the country from affected areas. The Alexandria Health Department is working to ensure our community can respond safely, quickly, and efficiently to anyone who may have been exposed to Ebola.
Ebola is not transmitted through the air, by water or by food grown or legally purchased in the US. It is only transmitted through direct contact with someone who is sick with the Ebola virus.
Persons who returned from affected areas more than 21 days ago cannot become ill with Ebola.
Ebola infections remain rare. There are more common infections that cause similar symptoms. If you are ill, no matter what the cause of your symptoms, prompt medical care is important for your well-being and to protect others. Call your healthcare provider before seeking care – tell them if you have traveled.
The following links will connect our medical community and the general public with updated resources regarding basic facts, control and prevention of the disease.
- CDC Homepage on Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever
- CDC Information on Transmission of EVD
- CDC “Facts about Ebola in the US” poster
- CDC “Facts about Ebola” poster
- CDC Traveler's Health website (health recommendations for travelers to specific countries)
Information For Physicians and Healthcare Providers:
Questions About Ebola?
Surveillance for Travelers from Affected Countries
All travelers coming to the United States from countries with widespread transmission of Ebola are being routed to one of five airports. At those airports (which includes Dulles Airport), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has instituted screening, upon arrival, of all travelers coming from those countries. Those travelers who have symptoms of Ebola will undergo a full medical evaluation for Ebola as well as other diseases.
Travelers from affected countries who do not have symptoms (and thus will not need a medical evaluation) will undergo regular surveillance by Virginia Department of Health’s local health departments. Alexandria Health Department will be conducting that surveillance for all residents of, and visitors to, the City of Alexandria who have traveled from affected countries. If a traveler from an affected country becomes symptomatic, the traveler will be referred immediately for a full medical evaluation (the medical facility will be notified before the traveler goes for that evaluation). Monitoring will continue for 21 days to ensure that all travelers from affected countries have passed their incubation period (and therefore cannot develop Ebola).
If you have questions about Alexandria Health Department’s surveillance of travelers from affected countries, please email Alexandria Health Department at AHD.Nursing@vdh.virginia.gov